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Cities Pass Soda Tax Measures on Sugary Beverages

Image: Cities Pass Soda Tax Measures on Sugary Beverages

Soft drink and soda bottles are displayed in a refrigerator at El Ahorro market in San Francisco, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

By    |   Wednesday, 09 Nov 2016 03:22 PM

Four cities passed soda tax measures on Tuesday, imposing taxes of 1 or 2 cents per ounce on sugary beverages said to contribute to health problems such as obesity and diabetes.

Voters in San Francisco, Oakland, and Albany, California, approved a tax of 1 cent per ounce for beverages including energy drinks, sweetened tea, and sports drinks, Fox News reported. Boulder, Colorado, voters passed a 2-cents-per-ounce tax on the drinks.

“This is an astonishing repudiation of big soda. For too long, the big soda companies got away with putting profits over their customers’ health,” Jim Krieger, the executive director of Healthy Food America, told Vox. “That changed tonight.”

The soda measures passed with 62 percent of the vote in San Francisco and Oakland, Vox noted. Albany's soda tax measure passed with 71 percent support, and Boulder's drew 55 percent support.

These four cities join Berkeley and Philadelphia, which already had soda taxes, Vox noted.

According to Fox, the tax will apply to “energy drinks, sweetened tea and sports drinks — but not to diet sodas.”

Some claim that the tax will negatively impact low-income families and that grocery stores will be forced to raise prices on certain items to make up for the more expensive dollar signs now attached to soda prices.

“I’m sure that other cities and states will look at this and put tax measures before their legislatures,” said Michael Jacobson, co-founder and president of the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington, Reuters noted. “Legislators will say, ‘We get a twofer: balance the budget and improve public health.”

The impact of these tax measures on soda companies could be offset by a large populous and heavy demand for other beverages.

“This is more of a headline risk than a fundamental risk. It doesn’t have an enormous impact on the companies themselves, as long as the (size of) taxes are within the realm of reason,” said Ali Dibadj, analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein in New York, according to Reuters.

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Four cities passed soda tax measures on Tuesday, imposing taxes of 1 or 2 cents per ounce on sugary beverages said to contribute to health problems such as obesity and diabetes.
cities, pass, soda, tax
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2016-22-09
Wednesday, 09 Nov 2016 03:22 PM
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