Beat it

Beat it

Berkeley Passes Soda Tax



By Anna Roth

Last week's election brought all sorts of news, but lost in the Republican takeover and marijuana legalization may be the fact that Berkeley became the first city in the country to vote to tax sugary beverages. The measure passed with a little more than 75 percent of the Berkeley vote.
Measure D will tax sugary beverages, including non-diet sodas, energy drinks, presweetened teas, and other sweetened drinks at the rate of 1 cent an ounce, adding up to about 68 cents for a two-liter bottle of soda. It will not apply to sweeteners like sugar, honey, and syrups sold at grocery stores; milk products; 100 percent juice; baby formula; alcohol; or drinks taken for medical reasons.
A similar proposition in San Francisco failed to get its required two-thirds majority vote, though nearly 55 percent of the city's population voted for it.

Both measures faced heavy opposition from donations from Big Soda, which poured more than $10 million into campaigns to fight the taxes in San Francisco and Berkeley