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Berkeley's new soda tax could be a sign of things to come

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Most people are aware that soda isn't the healthiest beverage choice out there. While some varieties taste great, it doesn't necessarily do a body good. In spite of that, millions of people still enjoy it every day. However, there are signs that soft drinks may be changing forever. A new tax passed yesterday in Berkeley, CA that will dramatically raise taxes on such beverages. Sodas, iced teas and energy drinks are all included in the new tax, and it could change how and what people drink.

As part of yesterday's election, Measure D will add new taxes to all drinks that fall into its guidelines. The tax is one cent per ounce of drink: basically, a 12-ounce can of soda will be taxed twelve cents, and a two-liter bottle will be taxed 68 cents. Of course, on its own, it doesn't really sound like that big of a deal, but remember, these products are bottled by the millions every day. After millions upon millions of soft drinks, the tax will add up quickly.

The vote to enact the new tax wasn't a close one, either: while a similar bill in San Francisco didn't receive the support to be passed, the one in Berkeley did. Approximately 75% of voters pushed for the new tax, and considering how the city has set nationwide health trends in the past, the tax could signal a big change for soft drinks throughout the rest of the country eventually.

When it comes down to it, the production, sale, and consumption of soda is going to cost a whole lot more now. A more expensive drink means that more people with go with a healthier option, such as water, by default. Despite soft drink manufacturers trying to make adjustments to their products, it may already be too late. If the trend begins to spread throughout the country, it could have a huge impact on the soft drink industry.

Photo: Vox Efx

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