Example Policies

State Tax

  • California:  AB 2782 was introduced on February 19, 2016 by Assembly Members Bloom, Chiu, and Wood. The bill would have imposed on drink distributors a fee of $0.02 per ounce of sugar-sweetened beverages. Revenues would go toward a new "Healthy California Fund" to be allocated to various state health and education departments for the purposes of statewide diabetes and childhood obesity treatment and prevention programs. The bill would also create a Healthy California Fund Oversight Committee, to advise the affected state departments in implementing the bill's requirements and to evaluate programs and interventions funded under the bill.  
  • Illinois: HB 5690 and SB3524 would have imposed a tax on distributors of bottled sugar-sweetened beverages, syrups, or powders at the rate of $0.01 per ounce of bottled sugar-sweetened beverages effective January 2015.  The House Bill was defeated on May 24, 2014.
  • New York: A 7432 would have imposed an excise tax of $0.01 per fluid ounce on every distributor of bottled sweetened beverages.

City Tax

  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In June 2016, the Philadelphia City Council passed a 1.5 cent per ounce distributor tax on sugar-sweetened and diet beverages.  Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney introduced the proposal in March 2016, as part of the city budget. Funds from the tax will go toward universal pre-K education, community schools, school and city building retrofits, and the city pension system.
  • Berkeley, California.  In 2014, Berkeley became the first city in the country to successfully levy a tax on sugary drinks.  Passing with 75% of the vote,  Measure D places a penny per ounce excise tax on the distribution of high-calorie, low-nutrition beverages like sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, sweetened iced teas, and the syrups used to make fountain drinks.
  • San Francisco, California.  In November 2016, the city of San Francisco passed Proposition V, which places a penny per ounce distributor's tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. Revenues from the tax would be directed to the general fund. The measure also calls for the creation of a 16-person advisory panel to advise the Board of Supervisors and the mayor to create and/or fund programs to reduce the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages in San Francisco. 
  • Oakland, California.  In November 2016, the city of Oakland passed Measure HH, a one-cent per ounce sugar-sweetened beverage distributor's excise tax. Revenues will fund programs that improve children's health. 



Model Policies

Policy recommendations

Soda tax calculators

Additional Reading