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New Industry Study Shows Soda Tax May Not Raise Price Of Soda

November 5, 2016

By Melissa Caen : cbslocal – excerpt (includes video)

BERKELEY (KPIX 5) — A new, industry-funded study on Berkeley’s soda tax says it may be having unintended consequences.

This comes just as three Bay Area cities have their own soda tax proposals on the November ballot.

The new study, albeit paid for by the soda industry, shows that the tax may not raise the cost of soda, but could be spread to other grocery items…

Laurie Capitelli is a Berkeley City Council member who is also running for mayor and he’s aware that not all grocers are raising the price of soda in Berkeley.

When asked whether grocers have been passing along the tax?

Capitelli responded, “Some have and some haven’t it’s kind of a toss up right now.”

If grocers are spreading this around does that undercut the purpose of the tax?…

Capitelli said he knows some grocers in Berkeley haven’t decided to raise the cost of soda at their stores.

The taxes that are collected go into the general fund in Berkeley so that money could be used for any government purpose. The same is true for the proposals in Oakland and San Francisco… (more)

For a picture of what happens to taxes that go into the general fund, you need look no further than the hotel tax, that voters approved to go toward promoting arts and cultural attractions that bring tourists to San Francisco. Mayor Newsome decided to use the money for other purposes and we have Prop S on the ballot this year, to reinstate some of the hotel tax to its original purposes. There is NO GUARANTEE how any money that goes into the general fund will be used. Once the voters approve a tax that goes into the general fund. The general fund is controlled by City Hall.

 

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