NEWS

Soda Taxes and Campaign Finance: By-the-Numbers

Frank Bass | November 07, 2016

November 7, 2016 -  Four cities -- San Francisco, Oakland, and Albany, California and Boulder, Colorado -- are voting on whether to tax sugar-sweetened beverages. The ballot measures in the three California cities would levy a penny-per-ounce tax, while Boulder’s initiative would add a two cent-per-ounce tax.

Two cities -- Philadelphia and Berkeley, Calif. -- have approved similar measures. A 2014 San Francisco soda tax initiative failed to gain the required two-thirds vote needed for passage.

Here’s a quick look at the contributions to the four soda tax battles in 2016.

The beverage industry has raised more than $31 million to defeat the taxes in the four cities.

Soda tax supporters have raised more than $23 million.

Opponents of soda taxes have outraised supporters in San Francisco, Boulder, and Albany -- but not in Oakland.

The San Francisco soda tax battle has generated the most contributions. Opponents of that city’s measure have raised over $22 million. Supporters have raised $12 million, with more than half of that money coming from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The American Beverage Association and Coca-Cola have provided nearly all of the money raised to defeat soda tax measures in San Francisco and Oakland.

Methodology:

MapLight analysis of contributions to committees supporting and opposing ballot measures that would tax sugar-sweetened beverages in the November 2016 elections using the latest data available from local campaign finance reports as of November 7, 2016.

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