Frequently Asked Questions
- How much is the proposed tax?
- Under this tax, distributors would be charged an additional 1¢ per ounce. If that trickles down to consumers, it would add 12¢ to a can of soda and $2.88 to a case. Consumers could also see a spike across all groceries if stores recoup this tax by spreading it across all products. That means that whether you consume these beverages or not, you could see a big impact on your grocery bill.
- Why is a beverage tax really a grocery tax?
- Not only would the tax impact thousands of common grocery store items that families enjoy, but the additional 1¢ per ounce could be spread across all products by stores. That means you could still see a big impact on your grocery bill whether or not you consume these beverages.
- Where is the money going?
- The revenue from the tax will not be dedicated to specific programs, and could instead be used for any government purpose.
- What type of beverages would be affected?
- As proposed, this tax would apply to soft drinks, juice drinks, sports drinks and some teas – some of our most common grocery items. Among them, you can count many of the grape, apple and orange juice drinks we buy regularly; sports drinks we turn to after a workout; and even some coffee-based drinks we grab to get going in the morning.
- What would the consequences of the proposed tax be?
- There are quite a few. Above all else though, Oakland residents stand to see grocery and restaurant bills rise. The nature of the distribution tax is such that it costs businesses more money to keep their doors open and more money to provide common items that customers expect. The trickle down effect means that grocery and restaurant prices could rise.
Furthermore, if passed, this new tax would be regressive and would hurt Oaklanders who can least afford it. At a time when middle- and low-income families are struggling to afford to live in the city, we should not be increasing taxes on every day expenses like groceries