Board of Supervisors President David Chiu — who, along with fellow Supervisor David Campos, is seeking the California Assembly District 17 seat in November — announced Thursday his support for a controversial effort to place a tax on soda sold in San Francisco.
Campos also supports the tax, according to his campaign. That seemingly elevates the issue as both supervisors seek to replace termed-out Assemblyman Tom Ammiano. But maybe not.
Having the support of both Davids means the soda tax will be a topic on the campaign trail, but the issue is already so divisive that it’s likely to spark national interest beyond any impact from a state Legislature race.
The beverage industry, which spent handily to defeat a similar measure in the city of Richmond, is likely to inundate San Francisco with mailers and ads on radio, TV and the Internet blasting the tax as an extra expense for merchants.
And tax supporters may bring some star power: the foundation begun by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who himself tried and failed to curb sales of large sodas in his city, is likely to be a big donor. Bloomberg himself might even stump here.
Meanwhile, Chiu will join fellow supervisors Scott Wiener, Eric Mar, Malia Cohen and John Avalos as a co-sponsor of the soda tax. An official campaign kickoff is scheduled for Saturday.
Campos has not asked to have his name added to the list of co-sponsors.
The measure would put a 2-cents-per-ounce levy on “sugary sweetened beverages.” That money would go to fund childhood health and education programs.
Bay Area NewsDavid ChiuSan Francisco soda taxsoda taxUnder the Dome