Mayor explains position on alcohol, soda fees

Why would Mayor Gavin Newsom, who wanted to levy his own fee on sugary beverages last year, turn around and kill a fee on alcohol this year — especially in light of budget woes?

The mayor gave an easy answer: He doesn’t want to sign off on any legislation that will be a “job killer.” No, this isn’t double-speak. Newsom reminded reporters Wednesday that his move to charge a fee on sodas sold inside stores never became formal legislation.

Why, he says?

“Because it was going to be a job killer.”

But like Supervisor John Avalos, who won’t give up on his alcohol fee (he might take it to the voters next year), Newsom says he plans to introduce legislation in the next two weeks that still gets to the heart of the issues surrounding the sweet drinks — obesity, diabetes and other health-related issues.

“I can’t announce it now, but it’s a better approach,” he said.

esherbert@sfexaminer.com

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