California City Votes In The Nation’s First Soda Tax

Soda will now come with the nation’s first-ever tax on sugary drinks in Berkeley, CA, after the city became our nation’s first to pass such a law last night. More than three-quarters of voters cast their ballots in favor of the measure, which will put a tax of $0.01 per ounce on sugary drinks.

Measure D only needed a majority of “yes” votes to pass, reports USA Today, while a similar measure that needed two-thirds to pass failed across the bay in San Francisco.

Proponents of the tax said it’ll help put the brakes on the nation’s obesity epidemic, by bringing down the amount of sodas, energy drinks and other sweetened beverages people drink.

“Berkeley has a proud history of setting nationwide trends, such as non-smoking sections in restaurants and bars, curb cuts for wheelchairs, curbside recycling and public school food policies,” said Vicki Alexander, co-chair of the group campaigning to pass Measure D, in a statement.

On the other hand, a representative of the opposition campaign funded by soft-drink manufacturers/the American Beverage Association in Berkeley and San Francisco didn’t seem that impressed by the outcome.

“Berkeley is very eclectic. It doesn’t look like Anytown USA,” he said.

Nation’s first soda tax is passed [USA Today]

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