Would San Diego Shoppers Accept Soda Tax?

Penny per ounce tax for sugary drinks passes in Berkeley. Could other cities be next?

Berkeley has passed the nation's first soda tax. Could it open the door to other cities and states doing the same thing?

Shopper Robert McCormack doesn't like the idea.

"All you're doing is costing people more money," said McCormack. "Wages are down, people are struggling and now you can't even go out and have a soda?"

The one-cent-an-ounce tax on soft drinks could raise more than a million dollars a year for the Berkeley city government.

That money will be used to pay for a government panel to look into financing health promoting projects.

"I actually think that's a great idea," said shopper Teresa Druijter.

She says charging more for soda could discourage some people from buying it. But Judi Curry isn't so sure.

"I will make the decision whether I'm going to drink less, not somebody else," said Curry.

The tax is not just for soft drinks. Energy and sports drinks are included along with sugar-added fruit juices and teas.

However chocolate milk will not be taxed, and neither will 100 percent fruit juices and diet sodas.

Soda makers like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo contributed more than $10 million to fight the tax.

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who tried to ban supersized drinks in his state, contributed more than a half-million dollars to support the tax.

San Francisco voters approved a similar soda tax by 66 percent, but the measure required a two-thirds vote, so it didn't pass.

That's fine with Robert McCormack who says government is going too far.

"It's not their job to come into my home and tell me, 'We want you to only drink this or that.' That's a no-no," said McCormack.

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