A sugary drinks tax is in the works for beverages sold throughout the Bay city, reports Reuters via Yahoo! News on Oct. 29. The proposal, much like the initiative taken last year by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, looks to address rising obesity levels that have been linked to sugary sodas and drinks.
Health experts roundly agree that consistent consumption of sodas and so-called fruit juices that are nothing but sugar bombs are dangerously linked with obesity, especially in young children, Type 2 diabetes and a host of other health and dental issues.
If approved by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and the city board, a 2-cents-per-ounce tax on sodas and other sugary drinks would be added to a proposed ballot measure and be voted upon. If imposed, the total tax would yield an extra 24 cents per 12-ounce can of soda, netting an estimated $30 million in revenue for the city.
Drinks that contain added sugar and have at least 25 calories per ounce would fall under the proposed tax.
“In New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg last year spearheaded a ban on the sale of large, sugary drinks last year, but the move was later declared illegal by a state judge after a challenge by soft drink makers and a restaurant group. New York's highest court has agreed to hear an appeal,” says the CS Monitor.
San Francisco City Supervisor Scott Wiener introduced the measure Tuesday, stating something needs to be done to address alarmingly high levels of obesity.
“We must act aggressively to address this epidemic,” Wiener said, adding that he expects there will be challenges to get the proposed tax into play.
“We know that this will be a long road,” Wiener said in introducing the measure to his colleagues. “This type of proposal has occurred in other cities and the beverage industry always comes out full guns blaring, so we're going to need to pull together to make sure that this wins.”