In November, voters in the San Francisco Bay Area will be deciding whether to say yes or no to a tax on sugary drinks. Drinks that, according to experts, are a leading cause to diabetes, obesity and tooth decay. Those in support of the tax say that a penny-per-ounce is needed on drinks. Those voters opposed however say that it is a grocery tax and will make other grocery costs higher. Only a few cities in the nation has passed this vote.
Berkeley and Philadelphia both passed this tax. Now, the American Beverage Association is suing to stop it from taking effect. The end result is a costly campaign battle between Associations in support of the tax and Associations against it. The American Beverage Association has reserved almost ten million dollars just for television ad time while the former Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, has contributed almost three point seven million in support of the issue. Lawrence Gostin, a Global Health Law Professor at Georgetown has stated that if this is passed in the Bay Area, it could lead to the entire nation taking it up. He, himself is in support the this tax.
This is the second time San Francisco has attempted to get a soda tax passed. In 2014 they went for a dedicated tax, which requires a two-thirds vote. Now, they are attempting it with a general tax which only requires a majority vote. Those opposed of the tax has pointed out that with this change, the money received from the tax could be used for anything. As opposed to being used for health programs as those for are saying. Opposers of the tax are also stating that a grocery tax like this would make owners raise the cost of other foods to help spread the cost. Thus, resulting in small business owners losing business possibly and even maybe closing.
Those for the tax have stepped up their game however. They are going to Latino and African-American neighborhoods that voted against it in the past. By visiting these areas, they are hoping to point out the unhealthy benefits from drinking these sugary drinks in the hopes that they will vote to pass it. By passing this tax, they are saying that they will not be able to afford it as easily as they do now. Thus resulting in a healthier community for these predominantly poorer and unhealthier smaller\ communities. Latinos and African-Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes more so than white communities.