California lawmakers trying to get a $0.02 tax imposed on sodas and other sugary drinks in the state have come up empty, after the proposed measure failed to pass an Assembly committee. Supporters said the law would help curb high rates of obesity and diabetes, while some critics said it wouldn’t properly address health issues and would hit low-income residents the hardest.
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.
Now that the crusade against soda and other sugary drinks has been effectively quashed in New York City, two West Coast municipalities are trying to take up the torch. San Francisco and Berkeley are trying to become the first cities in the U.S. to pass per-ounce taxes on sugary drinks, and the industry is paying attention.
Make someone pay more for something, and perhaps they will complain and buy less of it. Such is the reasoning behind “sin taxes” like a tax on soda, to try to curb the wave of obesity in the U.S. But should those taxes be imposed on consumers, or rather, on the manufacturers making the soda?
Several states and cities around the country consider taking part in the latest trend of levying a “soda tax” on high-calorie beverages. But in New York state, the measure looks certain to die a quiet death in the state house, while the folks in Philadelphia are looking at a loophole that could render the whole “combatting obesity” thing nonexistent.
Even though an overwhelming number of Consumerist readers thought NY state’s proposed “soda tax” on high calorie beverages was nothing but a cash grab, NYC Mayor ad eternum Michael Bloomberg says he’s all for it, calling it an easy fix.
There’s a movement in New York to have the state pass a so-called “soda tax” that impose taxes on soft drinks containing more than 10 calories per 8 ounces. Among the beverages included would be just about all non-diet sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, sweetened coffees and teas (only in bottles), and fruit and vegetable juices containing less than 70% natural juice. According to the ads being run by the supporters of the tax, the goal is to curb childhood obesity. But will it really work?