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Dr. Edwards' Blog

Soda Tax Ballots Approved - Nov. 9, 2016

While many Americans are still accessing the outcome of the U.S. Presidential race, voters in three California towns along with those in one  Colorado city sent a clear message to Big Soda makers:  people willing to buy your sugary drinks should pay more taxes to do so.

The "Soda Tax" as it's called passed in San Francisco, Oakland and Albany, California.  That tax will be one cent per one ounce.  Voters in Boulder, Colorado approved a two cent per one ounce tax.  Supporters of the taxes noted that sugary beverages are one of the greatest contributors to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay ― especially among children, whom they say the beverage industry targets most with its advertisements.  Exemptions for the new taxes will be diet sodas, 100-percent fruit or vegetable drinks, milk beverages, infant formula, alcohol and medical-use drinks.

Big Soda makers like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo watched these ballot results very closely.  They fear since these passed, it will only be a matter of time before more cities will propose similar soda taxes, and their already dwindling sales will drop off even more.

These four cities join Berkeley, CA and Philadelphia in passing taxes on the purchase of sugary drinks.  In 2014, Berkeley became the first U.S. city to tax sugary drinks including soda.  Philadelphia's city council  passed a "soda tax" in June.  It will begin January 1.


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