SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Officials from several Bay Area cities on Friday joined forces to show their support of a November ballot measures that would tax sugary beverages.

The soda tax measure is on the November ballot in Oakland, Albany and San Francisco — where voters rejected a similar tax in 2014.

The measure would charge distributors one cent per ounce of soda they sell.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf joined San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee on the steps of San Francisco City Hall Friday morning, along with San Francisco Supervisor Malia Cohen, to discuss the measures.

Doctors and politicians framed the sugar-sweetened beverage debate as “the people versus Big Soda.”

It’s a war on sugar-sweetened drinks like soda, iced tea, and sports drinks. The goal? Fighting obesity and type-two diabetes.

“We no longer can sit back and let the big-soda industry target and hurt our communities,” said Cohen.

“In Oakland they’re running a shamefully deceptive campaign, calling this a grocery tax. We need to be clear; Measure HH and Prop V are not grocery taxes. In fact, these are taxes on distributors of death-causing sugary beverages. That’s what this tax is on. In fact this tax is an incentive for people to purchase and afford healthy food as groceries. They don’t want you to know their dirty secret, and that is that their products are deadly,” Schaaf said.

Those against the measure say charging the distributors is basically a tax on their businesses. They’re calling it a “grocery tax” in television ads, saying they would have to spread that extra cost throughout the rest of their merchandise.

The pro-soda tax side is running its own multi-million dollar campaign.

“We have to be smart. We have to be smarter than those that sell to us this disease. We have to conquer it,” said  Lee.

The big difference for San Francisco voters this time around is that the tax only needs a simple majority to pass. In 2014, it required two-thirds approval

Comments (4)
  1. fiftyville says:

    If the government thinks it’s its business to govern your health, why not make it a law that everyone must be physically fit, instead? This is just another tax for lining the pockets of the government.

  2. TN says:

    The government “taxed” California Lottery players and said it used the money to better fund and advance our public education system to be the best there is…. Compared to the other 49 states, how are we doing, now that we’ve collected millions and millions of dollars to “help” our California public education system needs?
    There’s no one to blame because those same lobbyists and politicians have all retired or got promoted and are collecting higher salaries or pensions now. What a shell game or 3 card Monty.

    1. TN says:

      …and those public school politicians who let soda companies put vending machines in the schools and gave them a “cut” of the profits?…. Con game…Exactly…

  3. TN says:

    If the “majority” doesn’t pass it, then it won’t be a “tax” but will become some sort of a “service fee” and won’t require people’s votes (shhh, politicians will get a cut and “public and charter schools” will also “benefit” and share in the profits…you know like proceeds funding music, art, and more electives to “round out” the growth of our next generation…blah blah blah).
    Enough already.