Update on Soda Tax

As predicted yesterday “coming to a city and state near you” here’s a story in today’s newspapers:

After successfully funding a campaign to pass a soda tax in Philadelphia, billionaire Michael Bloomberg is preparing to fund similar efforts in several other cities, giving new momentum to measures seeking to limit soft drink consumption.

The former New York City mayor contributed the bulk of the money for the pro-soda-tax side in Philadelphia, providing around $1.6 million. Now the prominent public health crusader will support measures in San Francisco and Oakland, Calif., this year, Michael Wolfson, a senior adviser to Bloomberg, said Friday.

Bloomberg may also support soda tax drives in Seattle and Oregon in 2017.

The billionaire’s planned backing raises the stakes for the powerful beverage industry, which has lobbied hard to defeat many of the 43 municipal and state-level attempts to implement a soda tax that have failed since 2008. Before this week, Berkeley, Calif., was the only US city with a soda tax.

As New York’s mayor, Bloomberg led efforts to pass a state-level soda tax, prevent residents from buying sodas with food stamps, and limit the size of sugary beverages.

Get ready.

Happy Father’s Day to all.

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