The ballot measures were approved by wide margins yesterday in San Francisco (62% in favor), Oakland (61%), Albany, CA (71%) and Boulder, CO (54%). These four cities join Berkeley, CA, where voters approved the nation’s first tax on sugary drinks in 2014, and Philadelphia, whose mayor and council adopted one in June.
It’s estimated the four measures would bring in a combined revenue of $26 million per year. They will also extend thousands of lives and cut diabetes and obesity rates while saving more than $60 million in healthcare costs over the next decade. Read more.
“This is an inspiring win for those who care about the health of their communities and a resounding repudiation of Big Soda. For too long, the big soda companies got away with putting profits over their customers’ health. That changed tonight. Despite the billions spent on marketing and more than $30 million in deceitful campaign ads, voters saw the truth and sent a clear message that their families’ health comes first – thanks to an incredible, neighbor-to-neighbor grassroots campaign led by passionate and effective local advocates and support from Michael Bloomberg and Laura and John Arnold that helped level the playing field.
This vote is an historic turning point in the effort to bring sugar back to healthy levels. Interest in this issue was soaring even before this key victory – we’ve heard from 12 cities and six states seriously considering a tax on sugary drinks in 2017. Now we expect many more places to act to tax an unhealthy product to raise revenue to promote health and other community priorities, reduce diabetes rates and give an edge to the products that are better for their health.”
Cook County IL may continue the winning streak and join Boulder and the Bay Area with a yes vote on a sweetened beverage tax this week. Harvard researchers found if Cook County approves the measure, it has the potential to reduce diabetes, extend lives, and avert $222 million in health costs over 10 years. Read more.
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