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Soda Tax: Victory in Berkeley, Defeat in San Francisco


 Big soda.

Big Soda fought proposed soda taxes in two California cities this election, and experienced both victory and defeat.

The 2-cents per ounce tax on sweetened beverages that Proposition E sought to impose in San Francisco was defeated yesterday. It required a two-thirds majority to pass and fell short. Approximately 45% of voters rejected the soda tax, while 55% approved it. Read the text of Proposition E.

An overwhelming majority of voters in Berkeley, however, approved the 1-cent tax per ounce on high-calorie, sugary drinks. More than 75% said yes to the tax, which will take effect on January 1, 2015. As currently written, the tax will terminate as of January 1, 2027. Read the text of Measure D.

Berkeley is the first city in the country to successfully pass a soda tax by voter-approval. Others have tried and failed.

Many measures affecting sales tax made the November 4 ballot. Automated sales tax software as a service (SaaS) helps your business stay on top of sales tax changes around the country. Learn more.

photo credit: shelleylyn via photopin cc


Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.