Update via Berkeleyside:
Berkeley will likely join San Francisco in its push to tax surgery-drinks linked to obesity and diabetes. The City Council will vote Tuesday night on whether to place a measure on the November ballot that taxes soda, sweetened teas, and beverages with added sugar including sports and energy drinks.
If the measure gets the green light—which it’s expected to—it would propose a 1-cent-per-ounce excise tax on companies that distribute these drinks.
San Francisco's bill is calling for a two-cents-per-ounce tax on any drink that has more than 25 calories and is less than 50 percent juice. It will need a two-thirds vote to pass since the money is going into a specific fund for health and exercise programs at city schools.
If Berkeley moves forward, it will only require a 50 percent vote to pass as the money will go into the city’s general fund. According to the East Bay Express, Berkeley wants to use the money to fund school and community nutrition programs such as gardens and cooking programs, which have been scaled back due to a lack of federal funding.
In 2012, Richmond tried to implement a similar tax and failed, after the Big Soda industry spent $2.7 million campaigning against it. Sixty-seven percent of Richmond voters rejected the tax.
In San Francisco, a beverage industry funded group called Coalition for an Affordable City is lobbying small businesses to fight the tax.