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Whoops! Soda Tax Petition Signatures in San Francisco Come in One Day Late

1 min readBy: Scott Drenkard

Today, AP is reporting that an effort to put a soda taxA tax is a mandatory payment or charge collected by local, state, and national governments from individuals or businesses to cover the costs of general government services, goods, and activities. on the ballot in San Francisco has experienced a setback as the organizers missed a deadline to turn in signatures by one day.

…elections director John Arntz, whose office verifies the signatures, said the campaign missed the deadline to submit those signatures.

The campaign called the mishap a “technical error,” and vowed to continue the fight against soda companies whose products they say contribute to obesity, diabetes and a host of other health ills.

[City] Supervisors can place a measure on the ballot or soda taxA soda tax is an excise tax on sugary drinks. Most soda taxes apply a flat rate per ounce of a sugar-sweetened beverage. supporters can also choose to circulate another petition and collect the 9,485 signatures needed by July 11.

Berkeley, California, became the first city in the country to approve a soda tax, in 2014. That year, a San Francisco campaign for a sugary drink tax failed at the ballot, as it did not get the two-thirds approval needed for a dedicated tax.

This year’s proposal for a general tax of one cent per ounce needs a simple majority to pass.

The proposal for a statewide soda tax in California failed in legislative committee earlier in April. A similar local proposal will be on the ballot in Oakland, California in November, though my understanding is that City Council put that measure on the ballot and it was not as a result of a petition. As mentioned above, Berkeley, California already has such an excise taxAn excise tax is a tax imposed on a specific good or activity. Excise taxes are commonly levied on cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, soda, gasoline, insurance premiums, amusement activities, and betting, and typically make up a relatively small and volatile portion of state and local and, to a lesser extent, federal tax collections. .

As we note in our post on Philadelphia’s proposed soda tax, which would tax soda at 48 times the rate of beer.

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