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Soda Tax

This summer, the Board of Supervisors agreed to put to voters in November a measure that would tax nonalcoholic sugary drinks, with the revenue being used to fund health programs, water fountains, and recreational facilities.

Proposition E’s supporters argue that the tax, if passed on to consumers, would reduce soda consumption by 31 percent and raise up to $54 million a year. However, as CBS SF political analyst Melissa Griffin Caen pointed out in a Week to Week political roundtable, the tax is actually levied at the distributor level, not the point of sale, so a retailer could keep soda prices the same or only slightly increased but still cover higher costs by raising the prices on unrelated items, such as bananas or potato chips.

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