Legislation to create a tax of two cents per ounce on the distribution of soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages in San Francisco was officially placed on the November 4, 2014 ballot at today’s regular Board of Supervisors meeting.
The legislation has been endorsed by the San Francisco Medical Society and the California Medical Association to reduce the incidence of diabetes, obesity and tooth decay.
Dr. Lawrence Cheung, President of the San Francisco Medical Society stated, “As a forward thinking city, San Francisco is once again leading the nation in progressive public health policies. We will be the first major city in the country to actively decrease the consumption of sugar sweetened beverages as a way to combat our society's high rates of diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Revenue generated from this tax will go directly to programs that will improve our city's health and to those neighborhoods that need it most.“
Dr. Shannon Udovic-Constant, a pediatrician who authored the pioneering California Medical Association resolution regarding sugar sweetened beverages stated, “Our members have been actively involved in the effort to put a soda tax on the ballot here in San Francisco and in helping to build a grassroots army of dedicated volunteers to help take this critical public health message to all San Franciscans. We are excited that the Board of Supervisors has taken this final step to place the soda tax on the November ballot.“
SFMS Executive Director Mary Lou Licwinko stated, “We are delighted with the actions of the Board of Supervisors to put this important issue before San Francisco voters. SFMS has long championed a soda tax and, once again, San Francisco is leading the country on an important public health issue.”
The tax on the distribution of soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages in San Francisco is estimated to generate up to $54 million annually, which will be legally dedicated to fund active recreation and nutrition programs in schools, parks, and recreation centers; food access initiatives, drinking fountain and water bottle filling stations; and dental health services. Disadvantaged/low-income communities, including those most impacted by the diabetes and obesity epidemics, will be prioritized in funding decisions.
For more information, or for media inquiry, please contact Steve Heilig at (415) 561-0850 x270 or email@example.com.