S.F. Alcohol Fee Gets Preliminary OK; Mayor Likely To Veto Measure
On Tuesday, San Francisco's Board of Supervisors gave preliminary approval to an alcohol fee that would help cover health costs and services related to alcohol misuse, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) is expected to veto the measure.Â Newsom said this is not the time to impose additional financial burdens on businesses, which still are struggling amid the economic downturn.
The board voted 7-3 in favor of the measure, one vote shy of the eight votes needed to overturn a veto from the mayor.
A final vote on the alcohol fee is scheduled for next week (Gordon, San Francisco Chronicle, 9/15).
Alcohol Fee Details
San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos proposed the fee, which would require alcohol distributors and wholesalers to pay:
- 35 cents per gallon of beer sold;
- $1 per gallon of wine; and
- $3.20 per gallon of hard liquor (AP/Ventura County Star, 9/14).
Officials estimate that the fee would bring in about $16 million annually to pay for services related to alcohol misuse, such as:
- Ambulance transportation;
- Hospital care;
- Prevention programs; and
- Sobering centers.
Representatives from the liquor industry say they would sue to overturn the fee if it is approved.
Supporters of the fee -- which include city health officials and the San Francisco Health Commission -- say the city will struggle to maintain alcohol-related services if the fee does not receive final approval (San Francisco Chronicle, 9/15).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.