Town Hall Discusses New Soda Tax Proposal

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On March 24th, a town hall meeting took place in Morrissey Hall of St. Mary’s Medical Center to discuss a two-cent tax per fluid ounce on soda and sugary drinks. Speakers included Supervisors Eric Mar and Scott Wiener.

Mar said he’s co-sponsoring the measure as part of a broader effort by the city to “increase healthy options” and “reduce harmful substances.” The goal is to raise awareness and education in our communities.

The revenue from the two-cent tax would raise $31 million. Wiener explained that 40% of the funds will go to school programs and school breakfast programs while 25% will go to Rec and Park to increase recreation center hours, and encourage physical activity and 25% will go to the department of Public health and 10% to community based organizations.” Dr. Lawrence Cheung, a physician at St. Mary’s Medical Center and president of the San Francisco Medical Society added that, “Scientific studies have shown that increased consumption of sugary beverages can increase the chances of obesity by 60% in the course of two years.”

The Board of Supervisors is expected to place the soda tax on the ballot for voters to decide in the November election. As a tax measure, it requires two-thirds voter approval.

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