4 Cities Considering Sugary-Drink Taxes
OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. -- With warning labels coming to sugary-beverage advertising as soon as July, leaders in the city of San Francisco have turned their attention to a new tax on such drinks. And they're not the only ones.
Here are four cities that could enact sugary-drink taxes as soon as this summer.
1. San Francisco
San Francisco officials say they're taking a "thoughtful and grass-roots" approach to their second effort to adopt a penny-per-ounce fee on sugar-sweetened beverages.
In 2014, San Franciscans considered a dedicated tax, one that would be earmarked to fund specific health programs, according to a KQED report. That kind of earmarked tax needs a two-thirds supermajority approval to become law. With 55% of the vote, it fell short of the threshold.
The current initiative is expected to be put to voters in November. The measure will need only a simple majority to get approval.
2. Oakland, Calif.
Similarly, Oakland, Calif., voters in November will choose whether to follow their Berkeley neighbors and vote on a penny-an-ounce levy on sugary drinks, according to a report in Quartz.
City officials expect the tax to raise as much as $10 million per year for Oakland. The ballot question will need approval of 50% of voters.
3. Boulder, Colo.
The city of Boulder, Colo., is about a month away from learning whether a soda-tax measure will appear on its ballot in November, according to Quartz. Health groups there want to tax distributors, levying up to 2 cents per ounce on beverages with at least 5 grams of sugar per 12 fluid ounces.
Philadelphia has proposed the most aggressive soda tax, by far. Mayor Jim Kenney included a 3-cent-per-ounce proposal in the latest city budget in an effort to bring in $432 million over five years to pay for universal pre-K; community schools; and upgrades to parks and recreation centers, according to a PhiladelphiaInquirer report. The tax would be collected at distributorships and would not include diet drinks.
A vote by the city council could come as soon as June. The proposal does not need to be put before voters.
The city council has rejected similar sugary-drinks tax proposals twice before.