Voters pass soda tax in SF

San Francisco voters appear to have sweetened to the idea of a tax on sodas and other sugary beverages.

Proposition V, which required more than 50 percent of the votes to pass, imposes a 1 cent tax on sugar-sweetened drinks sold in The City. The measure follows a similar yet unsuccessful effort in 2014 to generate a 2 cent soda tax into specific health and wellness programs.

The tax, dubbed the “soda tax” by supporters, is meant to curb unhealthy consumption of sugary beverages. It was also controversially called a “grocery tax” by opponents, a label some said is misleading.

The tax is levied at distributors, not stores themselves.

Joe Arellano, a public relations consultant working for the American Beverage Association, called the tax a “grocery tax,” which the association had alleged in mailers across The City.

“Local grocery stores are the ones” who the tax is passed onto, he said.

But Supervisor Malia Cohen, who placed the measure on the ballot, countered that the health risks associated with drinking soda disproportionately affect low-income residents.

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