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Will Berkeley Beat San Francisco to a Soda Tax?
Scott Lucas | Photo: Courtesy Vox Efx/Berkeleyside | February 12, 2014
The Berkeley City Council is floating a one cent per ounce tax.
Better stock up on those two liters of Mountain Dew Code Red while you still can get away with it at today's low, low prices, because there's a chance that even if San Francisco's proposed soda tax fails this November, that the city of Berkeley could institute one of its own. It's a sad day for the Dewmocracy.
According to Berkeleyside, the Berkeley City Council voted last night to run a community poll gauging support among Berkeley voters for putting forward a ballot measure in the November election to put a one cent per ounce tax on sodas. (We're nominating this process for the annual how Berkeley Can You Be? awards: The voters elected a group of people to handle city policy that just voted to ask the voters if they would to vote on a later date about a city policy.)
If it were to go to the ballot, the soda tax would be the first in the nation. A similar proposal was roundly defeated in nearby Richmond in 2013 after heavy spending against it by the soda industry. The Berkeley tax would be the first—unless San Francisco were to get there first. After all, our own ballot initiative is going up to the voters in November too.
But you know what? Ours is two cents an ounce. There you go. We're still bigger. Well, maybe.