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You might ask why get all riled up before Mayor Schaaf has officially submitted her budget, just based on comments by two council members.
When you have two council members like Brooks and Washington who often disagree on measures, saying the same thing, it's a safe bet that the Mayor was testing the political waters to see how much of the soda tax revenue she could divert to fill the budget black hole.
If we wait for a formal budget proposal to evaluate before speaking up, the horse trading between council members and the Mayor will already be set in concrete.
Here is the Budget language
INVESTMENTS IN HEALTHY CHILDREN
In November 2016 Oaklanders passed Measure HH by 61 percent imposing a one-cent per ounce general
tax on the distribution of sugar sweetened beverages. The tax must be deposited in the Citys general fund.
The Measure also requires Oakland establish a Community Advisory Board to advise the City Council on
how best to support education and prevention programs. As this Board has yet to be established, the
budget includes several new investments that are consistent with the goals of the measure. These total
more than $3.5 million in expenditures. Additionally, the FY 2018-19 budget will reserve an additional $1
million, so that recommendations of the Advisory Board may be considered during the mid-cycle budget
process. We look forward to hearing from these community members on their ideas for how Oakland can
best prevent the negative health impacts of consuming sugar sweetened beverages and enhance the overall
health of our children. We are especially committed to working with our community partners in fighting
against the epidemics of childhood obesity and diabetes.
There has not been a sudden, unexpected worsening in city finances from the start of the soda tax election campaign in 2016 to now to justify any emergency need to divert expected soda tax revenue to any other purpose. The City's budget office has consistently projected large deficits in each of the 5 year projections they have published ever since they were required to do so by Council several years ago.
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