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Re: “'Big Soda' Argues Oakland's Proposed Tax Will Cut Sales — But Proponents Say That's Exactly the Point

Darwin:

This is an excellent article--thank you for presenting both sides of a contentious debate in a balanced manner. There is a ton of misinformation regarding this issue and you have done a fantastic job cutting out the chaff. Please keep up the good work.

Posted by Tommy Katz on 08/24/2016 at 10:18 AM

Re: “'Big Soda' Argues Oakland's Proposed Tax Will Cut Sales — But Proponents Say That's Exactly the Point

Tonya Love: Thanks for the information. I corrected and clarified the online version of the story. I guess I was confused by the press conference that the American Beverage Association-backed "grocery tax" campaign held last week. They had two speakers, both store owners, who said at the press conference that they would be paying the tax. And the public relations people running the anti-beverage tax campaign have repeatedly implied that grocers themselves will pay the tax. Clearly the text of the ordinance reads that the tax is on distributors who sell beverages to retailers, and the ordinance exempts retail sales.

Charlie Pine: How many distributors of sugar-sweetened beverages also distribute vegetables, milk, eggs, and so on? I was always under the impression that most beverage distributors just distribute beverages. How much of an opportunity do beverage distributors really have to pass this tax onto other goods? And as to this theoretical ability of a grocer to raise prices on milk and diapers to absorb price increases they have to pay for soda from their distributor, professor Auerbach addresses this claim in the article. He doesn't think it's sound.
As to the regressive impact a soda tax would have, yes, you are correct. The poor would pay more. That's true with most taxes on consumer goods.
But your claim regarding tobacco taxes isn't backed up by research. Most studies have found that increasing tobacco taxes leads to reductions in smoking rates (for example, http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/21/2…)

Posted by Darwin BondGraham on 08/24/2016 at 9:37 AM

Re: “'Big Soda' Argues Oakland's Proposed Tax Will Cut Sales — But Proponents Say That's Exactly the Point

o for cryin out loud: this has to do with sanctions that will reduce sugar consumption. This. is. a. good. thing. The less sugar you consume--esp HFC--the better you will feel; you will also mysteriously not miss it.
Meanwhile, how bout targeting the real problems behind the 'need' to self-medicate with soda: poverty, homelessness, (mis)education, capitalism...

Posted by Claudine Marie Elizabeth Jones on 08/24/2016 at 9:04 AM

Re: “'Big Soda' Argues Oakland's Proposed Tax Will Cut Sales — But Proponents Say That's Exactly the Point

Darwin and readers:

The language of the measure says that it is a tax on the distributors (those that deliver a product from one business to another) and not on retailers who then sell the product to consumers. The Distributers can pass the cost on to retailers and studies show that prices of soda does in fact increase, just like the beverage industry fears. American Public Health and National Bureau of economic research has both shown that soda prices have increased in Berkeley. However, what has not been shown is an increase in groceries. The Beverage industry will tell you "it can happen" but can't or won't produce evidence that it actually *has* happened.

A new study on Berkeley's tax shows reduced soda consumption in communities of color by a statistically significant large margin. Only 5% decided to buy sodas in another city.

http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/…

The reduction of consumption is due to the tax, as study respondents suggest, but also due to education as Chris Pine suggests. It is the combination that works, why? Because education does not come free. It is paid for by taxation.

Cigarette public health programs and education were paid for by taxation in local jurisdictions which lead to states and the federal govt suing the tobacco industry, which led to changing federal laws restricting sales and requiring warning labels and in settlement, the tobacco industry paying for national education and programs which worked to reduced cigarette smoking.

Just like with cigarettes, there is strong data and public health warnings that excess sugar is harmful to our health. There is also evidence that the largest source of added sugar to our diets is sodas and other sugar sweetened beverages. The American Heart Association has come out with new guidelines on reducing consumption of added sugar, especially for children. CBS News This Morning did a segment and Norah Odonell declared the number one source of added sugar in our diets is from sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages.

http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/new-guidelin…

The city council isn't the only entity behind this measure, public health professionals across the city and county are. The public health commission did a study back in 2014 on the rates of obesity and how much it is costing the county. In 2013-2014 the county allocated over $650 million to health care costs - $134 million of which spent on obesity related diseases.

http://www.acphd.org/media/351716/health-e…

The public health community have come together with local govts to find a way to pay for education and programs to improve the health of children and families. This tax will help do that.

Posted by Tonya Love on 08/24/2016 at 3:50 AM

Re: “Cooking Other People's Food: How Chefs Appropriate Bay Area 'Ethnic' Cuisine

What's as remarkable as how many white people are making upscale ethnic food is how many people of color are making it, too. Feel like this is as much a race issue as a class/education issue. Also how come soul food is roundly ignored in this article?

Posted by Fremont on 08/23/2016 at 8:19 PM

Re: “'Big Soda' Argues Oakland's Proposed Tax Will Cut Sales — But Proponents Say That's Exactly the Point

It seems your reporter cannot read. He states, "The proposed law states that it is an excise tax on any business that sells sugar-sweetened beverages." No, the first distributor in Oakland pays the tax. From the law: "The Tax shall be paid upon the first nonexempt Distribution of a SugarSweetened Beverage product in the City. To the extent that there is a chain of Distribution within Oakland involving more than one Distributor. the tax shall be levied on the first Distributor subject to the jurisdiction of the City."

In practical terms, there are two points where the tax becomes a grocery tax. First, the distributor can raise the price on anything he sells - milk, for example - to recover the cost of the tax. Second, the retail grocer can raise the price on anything he sells - milk and diapers, for example - to recover the costs passed on to him. Two studies of the Berkeley tax found that about half the 32 cents per quart was passed on in soda prices. We don't know where the other half came from.

Tax the things that the poor buy most -- it did not work on cigarettes. What worked were restrictions on tobacco advertising, public education, and such cultural changes as taking the glamor of cigarettes out of movies. But Anne Campbell Washington does not care about that. She wants to increase City revenues.

Posted by Charlie Pine on 08/23/2016 at 7:20 PM

Re: “Oakland, Developers Look to Convert SRO Housing into Boutique Hotels

I know James Kilpatrick personally he is bully and nothing more he think that because he have money and he live in high rise building with his fancy suit and fancy life he can destroy poor people lives. James Kilpatrick blame city of Oakland for asking him to comply with the rules and regulations? He blame the contractor? come on he is James Kilpatrick the owner of his high end firm and he should know better and start take care his clients. His clients are very nice and they only wanted to live in peace in this building, i was there few times and it's not place to live in. James Kilpatrick the man the bully the most awful person that i meet in my life will go down, it's not about no one else only him! he care about money and he don't see people he see only himself. James Kilpatrick the biggest bully in the bay area welcome to the judgment day!

Posted by rob jo on 08/23/2016 at 3:43 PM

Re: “City Forcing West Oakland’s Alliance Metals to Close on August 20, But Supporters Argue Recyclers Have No Safety Net

Read copykate's comment above. Nothing laudable about Alliance Metal exploiting the homeless in West Oakland.

Posted by Elguero Sinfe on 08/23/2016 at 8:51 AM

Re: “Homelessness, Caltrans, and the East Bay's Forgotten People

I agree Albany City Council's policy of first providing no support for their unhoused population and sending them to the Bulb was bad policy. Even worse policy was spending several hundred thousand dollars to make them move, and stayaway, to create yet another sterile waterfront dog and people walking park. This has only contributed to the concentration of homeless camps in neighboring cities, like Oakland and the need for CalTrans to clear out people, their possessions and tbeir waste.

A win-win for all residents housed and unhoused would be to create a stable, self governing "Dignity Village" where basic water, sanitation, hygiene and garbage collection are provided. This would allow houseless residents to meet their own basic needs, and prevent the "filth" that others have referred to, at lower cost to taxpayers than current sums. Criminalizing and vilifying houselessness is the most costly and ineffective solution. Whereas, providing the basics to keep a stable encampment clean and safe (including jobs for houseless residents not CalTrans workers) seems like a solution for many of the currently unhoused and the surrounding housed neighbors.

Posted by karen white on 08/23/2016 at 8:19 AM

Re: “Law Enforcement Killed 90 Oakland Residents Since 2000, And 74 Percent Were Black

Everybody is crying racism, but nobody knows the meaning of the word. First off, let's be honest. Yuvette Henderson was packing and tried to carjack three, yes three cars as she ran from Emeryville police, then pointed her piece at the cops. The issue here isn't police racism, it's why we live in society that promotes lawlessness, promotes violence, and doesn't give a helping hand to raise people out of lives of crime and violence.

Posted by Andrew Stevenson on 08/20/2016 at 8:47 AM

Re: “OPD Arrests Protesters for 'Lynching'

John Seal Tiffany didn't hit a cop with a steel chair I did to protect her and others for the attack on us and our property and serving food to others. You can get some info kind of by googling Cameron "Jesus Marijuana" Rose Occupy Oakland to get that info

Posted by Cameron Rose on 08/19/2016 at 3:07 PM

Re: “About the Data: What Our Reporters Analyzed to Learn About Officer-Involved Killings in Oakland

Hmmm... 4 shot Wednesday night on the 1100 block of Mandela Parkway. OPD didn't do it, so EBX doesn't care. Odd.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 08/19/2016 at 8:03 AM

Re: “Getting Schooled: An Overview of this Year's Oakland Unified School Board Races

I pay on my property to OUSD 0.1539% of accessed property value or $1,380,86 for interest and principal on OUSD construction bonds. Added to that is $198 parcel tax Measure G and $120 parcel tax Measure N. Total depends on County's assessed value of your Oakland property. Since currently parcel tax total I'm paying is $318, total OUSD tax bill for just parcel tax will total $438 not $500.

Posted by Jim Mordecai on 08/18/2016 at 10:44 PM

Re: “Law Enforcement Killed 90 Oakland Residents Since 2000, And 74 Percent Were Black

From John Iversen, Berkeley. Sadly the most ignored fact anywhere has been reported by the Guardian. Native people are killed at a rate 50% higher than blacks by police: 5.4 million to 3.6 million per capita. We are ignored, hidden away in rural areas with no TV cameras or even newspapers to report the murders. I am waiting on Color of Change or another POC group to do something for native people. NATIVE LIVES MATTER! LEONARD'S LIFE MATTERS! This is why I urge readers to support Nanci-Armstrong-Temple. Darryl Moore has become a tool of big $$ developers, abstained on a clemency for Peltier resolution, and has become the Mary Wainwright he once defeated. And don't get me started on his personal life! I am no angel and neither is he! John Iversen

Posted by John Tango Iversen on 08/18/2016 at 5:17 PM

Re: “Law Enforcement Killed 90 Oakland Residents Since 2000, And 74 Percent Were Black

Mr. Davidzon that fact that you fear for your life every time you walk out your door is not a police issue it is a society issue. When society decides that enough is enough they will rise up against the criminal element and in conjunction with police efforts make neighborhoods safe again. To sit here and say that you would be ok with more police officer deaths so the criminal element will be better protected is ludicrous. When the police do something wrong they must be held accountable, no doubt, but when a citizen does something wrong, they need to be held accountable as well. The tax payers hired Police Officers to do a job they can't or won't do. When they do the job hired to do, which, at times can be violent, the tax payers don't want to support them, because it is not he politically correct thing to do. Mr. Davidzon, I am sorry that you feel threatened by police pressence, however, I am willing to bet that if you don't do anything wrong, you won't have to worry about being stopped.

Posted by Charles Johnson III on 08/18/2016 at 5:04 PM

Re: “Getting Schooled: An Overview of this Year's Oakland Unified School Board Races

Good first article.

I'd like to add that Mike is extremely well informed about the working details of the school board and the administrative procedures. Not to mention a lot of the insider history.

The Rosie / GO Public schools falling out is something I would love to see some more reporting about. I think it has a lot to say about this powerful and influential group acting like a PAC and sometimes a political party in our school board races.

Randy was a Green in 2012, but he recently ran for Democratic Party Central Council and the last time I spoke with him, he was also working for a democratic candidate in a state race. I'd double check his current affiliation with him. He is best reached on facebook.

Yours

Don Macleay
OUSD Trustee Candidate, District 1
http://don4ousd.org

Posted by Don Macleay on 08/18/2016 at 8:46 AM

Re: “Law Enforcement Killed 90 Oakland Residents Since 2000, And 74 Percent Were Black

The NRA and gun manufactuers and their investors love it when the civilian and police body count rises. 2016 Orlando and Dallas massacres led to surges in gun stocks. A beautiful day for captialism can be a sad day for humanity. They hope we stay focused on blaming the police or blaming the poor and mentally ill, they need us to remain distraced from root cause as long as possible.

Posted by Vince Rubino on 08/18/2016 at 12:40 AM

Re: “About the Data: What Our Reporters Analyzed to Learn About Officer-Involved Killings in Oakland

Are you sure of your data from fatalencounters.com? That web site doesn't exist. fatalencounters.org does however.

I'm no apologist for OPD. Sloppy errors like this in your article hurt your credibility and believability.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 08/17/2016 at 10:55 PM

Re: “Law Enforcement Killed 90 Oakland Residents Since 2000, And 74 Percent Were Black

The police are here to protect and serve. I won't waste words or my own time explaining why blaming the victim is wrong, or why I don't want to have to change my underwear if I am pulled over. What I will say, is that a lot of these "crimes" are not punishable by death. Yes, there are a lot of weapons on the streets. Yes, the OPOA has too much unbridled power. Yes, there are violent criminals on the streets RIGHT NOW. But the last time I checked, the is NOT Judge Dredd, and everybody does not need to die. Police trust is at an all time low. In part because they won't admit when they see their own colleagues behaving badly or even illegally. Accountability, and real consequences. A force the looks like it's community, and strong, consistent leadership, unswayed by political motivations are what's needed in Oakland.

Posted by Michael A. Munson on 08/17/2016 at 8:56 PM

Re: “About the Data: What Our Reporters Analyzed to Learn About Officer-Involved Killings in Oakland

@Matt Chambers - The crimes committed were not done on taxpayer dime, which is what makes police shootings radically different. The employer has the right and responsibility to say "you will do the job in this specific way, and you will accept this additional amount of risk to your life. Don't want the risk? Don't take the job and the paycheck".

Police officers are just hired blue-collar help. They can be replaced, fired and otherwise treated just like any other blue-collar employee doing any other job. This is America and we do capitalism here.

Posted by Vladislav Davidzon on 08/17/2016 at 8:45 PM

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