Policy Summary

Establishes an excise tax of $0.01 per fluid ounce on distributors of sugar-sweetened beverages in San Francisco. Tax revenue is to be deposited in the general fund.

Background Information

State California
Jurisdiction Name San Francisco
Jurisdiction Type City, County,
Population Size 800,000+
Legal Strategies
  • Creates an incentive for a change
Reach Community-wide
Food System Category Distribute;
Evidence for Health

This policy may correspond to diet-related strategies identified by the County Health Rankings’ What Works for Health tool, including:

For research on the potential effectiveness, please review the category links above.

We understand that this information is not comprehensive. It also does not include other important forms of evidence such as community members’ lived experiences and practice-based evidence.

Policy Details

Refers to priority populations?

"Diseases connected to sugary beverages disproportionately impact minorities and low-income communities;" notes that: "African American death rates from DM2 [diabetes mellitus 2] are five times higher than San Francisco’s overall rate;" also cites to San Francisco obesity and overweight statistics for children and adults in general, and Hispanics and African Americans specifically. Sec. 551.

Health-related goal?

Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, sugar-sweetened beverages (sec. 551).

Environmental goal?

Economic goal?

"it is estimated that the City and County of San Francisco pays over $87 million for direct and indirect diabetes care costs." Sec. 551.

Includes findings?

The findings sections discusses the health risk associated with sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and provides data about which demographic groups are most affected. Sec. 551.

Has a stated intent or purpose?

To discourage the distribution and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages in San Francisco by taxing their distribution. Sec. 551.

Includes definitions?

Sec. 552.

Addresses implementation?

Department of Public Health and all departments will provide technical assistance to the tax collector in identifying bottled SSBs, syrups, and powders subject to tax (sec. 556(a) and (b)).

Enforcement provisions?

Evaluation component?

Requires extra investment?

Code context and ordinance history

Part of San Francisco Business and Tax Regulations Code; Article 8, Sugary Drinks Distributor Tax Ordinance. History: Added by Proposition V, 11/8/2016.


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