California – Berkeley “Soda Tax” Approved For November 2014 Ballot

SALT Report 3446 – The ordinance would impose a tax of one cent per fluid ounce on distribution of sugar-sweetened beverage products within the city.  The intent of the “soda tax” is to discourage the distribution and consumption of sugary drinks while simultaneously lowering costs associated with diseases caused by the consumption of these high sugar, low nutrition beverages.  Examples given include soda, energy drinks, heavily sweetened teas, and caloric sweeteners.  Drinks containing sugar that would be exempt from the tax include infant formula, milk products, and natural fruit and vegetable juices.

The ordinance includes exemptions:

“This Ordinance provides for a small business exemption for Retailers who transport sugar-sweetened beverage products into the City themselves and then sell those products directly to consumers.

Section 7.72.020  Exemptions

Some exemptions to the tax apply:

  1. To any Distributor that is not subject to taxation by the City under the laws of the United States or the State of California;
  2. To any Distribution of a Sugar-sweetened beverage product to a Retailer with less than $100,000 in annual gross receipts, as defined in Section 9.04.025, in the most recent year;
  3. To any Distribution of Natural or common sweeteners; or
  4. To any Distribution of Added caloric sweeteners to a Food Products Store as defined in Section 23F.04.010, if the Food Products Store then offers the Added caloric sweetener for sale for later use by customers of that store.”

For Further Information:

CA Berkeley Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Product Distribution Tax