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Should Berkeley Put a Soda Tax on the Ballot?

A Berkeley City Councilwoman wants to discuss a sugared beverage tax as a way to pay for health education.

Less than a month after voters in Richmond defeated a measure that would have placed an extra tax on sweetened drinks such as sodas, City Councilwoman Linda Maio is asking her colleagues to consider putting a similar measure before Berkeley voters. 

Here's an excerpt of the agenda item scheduled for Tuesday's council meeting

We have a long history of supporting healthful foods for those of all ages, but we have made particular investments in our youth. We have made healthful lunches available and support our gardening programs in our schools. With cutbacks at the state level likely, even if Prop 30 passes, we will need to continue to support our educational and hands-on experiences for our children, in particular. The discussion that is proposed could result in mapping out a direction on raising revenue for these purposes.

Should Berkeley tax soft drinks? 

jeff November 28, 2012 at 02:22 AM
Go for it. 14 in 14. We plan to have 14 cities put the Soda tax on the ballot in 2014. Berkeley is a trend setter. jeff Ritterman, M.D. Richmond City Council
Freedom Walker November 28, 2012 at 04:31 AM
Tax junk food mafia and keep the health bills down. Depave the asphalt wastelands and create community gardens for healthy food and activity.
Charles T. Smith November 28, 2012 at 10:04 PM
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Liberals, you got to love them. Why not create jobs and provide free healthcare? Why not fight for socialism? The comfortable class has no problem promoting regressive taxes on the working class. They also support capitalism which in their case is opportunism since they benefit from an economic system that enslaves workers throughout the world.
Mary November 28, 2012 at 10:15 PM
Yes - anything that discourages junk food is a good idea. Why do you use that awful sexist term "Councilwoman"? Haven't you ever heard of "Council Member"?
Mary November 28, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Your comment is not relevant to the issue at hand.
Don Gosney November 28, 2012 at 11:51 PM
With all due respect, “anything” that discourages junk food may not be accurate. There are alternatives that do not have the same ramifications in your community that may be more appropriate. Also, is the goal here to outlaw “junk food” in Berkeley or is it to fight childhood obesity? The two are different. The definition of “junk food” varies dramatically depending on where you sit.

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