San Francisco supervisors plan to combine soda tax measures

A day after Supervisor Eric Mar announced intentions to introduce a 2-cents-per-ounce tax on soft drinks and other sugary beverages, Supervisor Scott Wiener told The San Francisco Examiner on Wednesday that his similar proposal will eventually be melded with Mar’s as they seek to place it on the November 2014 ballot.

Mar’s office responded by saying the ultimate goal is to have one unified measure, but that the supervisor still plans to introduce his own legislation at the Board of Supervisors.

Wiener previously introduced his own 2-cents-per-ounce tax proposal. It would funnel revenue to nutrition and exercise programs.

Any measure that makes the ballot would require two-thirds voter approval to pass.

A primary difference between the two proposals is that Wiener seeks to allocate revenue — an estimated $31 million annually, he said — to the Recreation and Park Department in addition to the Department of Public Health and San Francisco Unified School District.

Wiener and Mar both said they hope the initiative will help reduce the consumption of sugary soft drinks, which health officials say are linked to obesity and diabetes.

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