SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— A two-cents per ounce sugary beverage tax, commonly called the soda tax, narrowly made it on the November ballot in San Francisco in a 6 to 4 vote by the city’s board of supervisors Tuesday.
At least six votes were needed for the measure to pass the board. It would have to be approved by two-thirds of the city’s voters to take effect.
Supervisors Scott Wiener and Eric Mar said the issue should go to voters and were able to convince fellow supervisor, Mark Farrell, who had been a bit squeamish about implementing the soda tax.
“Maybe certain approaches aren’t perfect. I do think that we need to be moving in this direction,” Farrell said.
The hope is that the price hike— 22 to 36 percent per container, will reduce consumption and as a result, related disease; like obesity and diabetes in young people.
Supervisor London Breed, who represents District 5 including; The Fillmore-Western Addition, Lower Haight and Haight-Ashbury said she’s fine with letting voters decide, but wants to make it clear that she doesn’t support the tax.
“I think there are better ways of utilizing resources,” Breed said.
The supervisors’ budget committee held their final hearing on the issue last week when a city controller’s report said the tax would decrease sales 31 percent. City officials have estimated the measure would raise somewhere between $31 million and $52 million a year. The proceeds would go toward nutrition, health, disease prevention, recreation and school physical education programs.