It's official: Supervisor Scott Wiener’s measure to add a 24-cent tax on every can of soda sold in the city is going on the November ballot.
The Chronicle reports that the Board of Supervisors voted 6-4 today (July 22) on the 2-cent-per-ounce tax on any drink that has more than 25 calories and is less than 50 percent juice. Beverage distributors would be charged the tax.
The measure will need a two-thirds majority vote to pass. It is expected to raise between $31 million and $52 million per year, which will fund health and exercise programs at city schools and recreation centers.
Berkeley’s proposed soda tax, which will also be on the November ballot, is slightly less aggressive in its 1-cent-per-ounce approach. It will only require a 50 percent vote to pass since the money will go into the city’s general fund.
Though other cities have tried to pass a soda tax, if San Francisco or Berkeley succeeds, it will be the first American city to do so.
According to San Francisco Magazine, the American Beverage Association — which is funded by all the big soda corporations — started campaigning against the measure in March, sending mailers that claimed the tax would increase the already-high cost of living in S.F.