Berkeley’s soda tax wants to send a strong message to the rest of the nation that diabetes is not welcome there.
Big Soda is getting nervous. The city of Berkeley, Calif. has a proposed measure charging a big tax on soda distributors. Big Soda has poured $800,000 so far into defeating the measure, which has been receiving wide support from community members and elected officials.
Berkeley’s Measure D would include a penny-per-fluid ounce tax on soda distributors. It would also tax distributors of other sugary drinks, including sports drinks, energy drinks and fruit drinks with added sugar. Lastly, premade sugary drink syrups would also be taxed based on the volume of drinks they produce.
The American Beverage Association recently donated $500,000 of campaign money to vote against the measure, bringing their total to $800,000. If passed, the measure could potentially bring in up to $2 million to Berkeley’s General Fund. A panel of experts on adult and childhood nutrition would be appointed to vote on how best to use the money from the tax.