Soda taxes passed by convincing margins in three California cities: San Francisco, Oakland and Albany. All three Bay Area measures will raise taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages by 1 cent per ounce. Additionally, a ballot measure in Boulder, Colo., to enact a tax of 2 cents per ounce on sugary drinks also passed.
Without question, 2016 has been the year of the soda tax uprising.
The Philadelphia City Council signed off on a 1.5-cents-per-ounce tax on sugar-added and artificially sweetened soft drinks earlier in the year. The new tax would add about 18 cents to the cost of a 12 ounce can of soda, $1.08 for a six-pack or $1.02 for a two-liter bottle, and goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2017. It's estimated to raise $91 million a year in revenue. Funds will be used to support pre-K expansion, community schools, reinvestment in parks and recreation centers, and add to Philadelphia's general fund. It will also fund tax credits that the council approved for retailers that sell "healthy" beverages.
Soda taxes have also been spreading overseas.
In March, the U.K. passed a fairly significant soda tax. Starting in April 2018, a tax of about 36 cents and 22 cents will be slapped on each liter of high-sugar or low-sugar fizzy drinks, respectively. The tax is not only designed to slash soda consumption, but is projected to raise as much as $757 million in revenue in the first year alone.
Meanwhile, South Africa's Treasury said in July that it's proposing a 20% tax on sugar-sweetened beverages in an effort to curb consumption of such products and lower obesity levels.