California Vending Operator Testifies Against Soda Tax Before Davis City Council

Posted On: 12/22/2015

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TAGS: Robert Donohue, vending machine, California Automatic Vending Council, City Council of Davis CA, Davis sugary drink tax

DAVIS, CA -- California Automatic Vending Council president Robert Donohue, Canteen Vending (Sacramento), testified last week before the City Council of Davis, CA, against a proposal to include a sugar-sweetened beverage tax on the city's 2016 ballot.

The Davis City Council is considering a proposal to place a measure on the June ballot for a 1¢-per-fl.oz. tax on all sugar-sweetened drinks, including sodas, energy drinks and sports drinks. Diet sodas and juices would be exempt from the tax.

In his testimony, Donohue argued the tax would place a great burden on businesses and would be particularly difficult for vending operators, as they can only increase prices in 5¢ increments. He shared the example that on a 12.-fl. oz. can of soda, the additional tax would be 12¢, putting the operator in the position of increasing the cost by 10¢ and absorbing the difference.

Donohue's testimony also included comments on how the tax would be difficult to implement and track due to the hundreds of products it would affect; that it would make the city an anti-competitive and unwelcoming place for businesses and consumers; and that it is an ineffective approach to addressing public health issues like obesity.

"It was a privilege to represent our industry at the Davis City Council meeting and ensure that our voice was heard on the soda tax issue," Donohue said. "A tax like this could have a tremendous negative impact leading to lost sales and additional costs for operators."

Robert Donohue
PHOTO: Testimony by CAVC president Robert Donohue and other beverage industry stakeholders reportedly resulted in delaying the vote on the sugar tax in Davis, CA.