Thursday, April 7, 2016

Oakland Follows Berkeley's Lead, Introduces a Soda Tax

Voters in Oakland should get a chance to hit sodas with a tax this November. Vice Mayor Annie Campbell Washington today announced a proposed initiative that would impose a fee on the distribution of sugar-sweetened beverages in the city of Oakland. After the announcement, the Oakland city council rules committee voted with no opposition to pass the measure through to the full council that will vote next month to place it on the ballot in November. Oakland is following Berkeley’s lead, which successfully passed a soda tax 2 years ago. As with the Berkeley tax, the one-penny per ounce of sugar sweetened beverages tax in Oakland would be levied on distributors and there would be a dedicated health panel to help local officials allocate the funds resulting from the tax. Many of the proponents of the Berkeley tax, as well as Oakland residents, doctors, dentists, educators, religious leaders, and council members spoke out in support of the Oakland soda tax. KPFA’s Emma Riley reports in Oakland: