Beverages

Things to know about California soda tax measures

Soda Tax

Alex Del Rio works behind the counter at his family’s market El Ahorro in San Francisco, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. In November 2016, voters in San Francisco and Oakland will consider a penny per ounce tax on sugar laden drinks such as bottled cola, sports drinks and iced teas in November. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

By Janie Har,  Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO >> A soda tax is on the Nov. 8 ballots of three San Francisco Bay Area cities as part of a national movement by advocates to curb consumption of liquid sugar. Here’s a closer look at the proposals:

RELATED STORY: US soda-tax battle bubbles up in San Francisco Bay Area

WHAT WILL BE TAXED?

All three measures levy a penny-per-ounce tax on distributors of beverages with more than 25 calories per 12 ounces. They include soda, energy and sports drinks, sweetened iced teas and lemonades, and juices with added sugar.

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WHAT WILL NOT BE TAXED?

Diet sodas, milk, naturally sweet beverages and baby formula.

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WHAT ARE THE ARGUMENTS?

The soft drink industry argues store owners will be forced to raise prices on other goods to absorb the cost of the tax. That’s why they’re labeling it a “grocery tax.”

Tax proponents maintain voters would be approving a small tax on soda alone, and it would help improve the health of children and families.

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HOW MUCH MONEY WILL THE TAXES GENERATE?

If Measure 01 is approved, Albany expects the tax to generate $223,000 a year. Oakland expects at least $6 million if Measure HH is approved. And San Francisco says the tax will generate $15 million a year if its Proposition V is approved.

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ARE OTHER U.S. CITIES VOTING ON A SODA TAX?

Boulder, Colorado, voters in November will decide on a 2-cents-per-ounce tax on sweetened beverages.

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