Voters in the City of San Francisco and Commonwealth of Massachusetts yesterday rejected discriminatory taxes on common grocery items, like soda.
In San Francisco, voters shot down a 2-cent-per-ounce tax on soda and other sweetened beverages by a 12 percent margin. Across the country in Massachusetts, voters overwhelmingly rejected expansion of the state’s current bottle bill, which places a tax on beverage containers.
In Berkeley, a penny-per-ounce tax on soda was passed. Let’s not forget, however, that Berkeley is proud of being the most liberal city in America and, based on polling of Americans at-large, far from representative of the rest of the country. So despite what proponents of the tax may be stating, yesterday’s news in no way portends a trend. Those who’ve been seeking to pass a soda tax for more than six years now clearly picked the lowest hanging piece of fruit on their quest for discriminatory taxes. What happened in Berkeley was more about advancing an agenda than it was about sound public policy.
If politicians in this country want to stake their reputation on what Berkeley has done, then they do so at their own risk. Voters across the country sent a strong message in yesterday’s elections – and it wasn’t a plea for more taxes.
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