Santa Clara County Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax & Regulations

In September of 2016, Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager introduced a Board Referral regarding Sugar-sweetened Beverages with the request to direct county administration to report to the Health and Hospital Committee and the Board of Supervisors with policy recommendations to provide consumers with information about what he calls health risks associated with sugar-sweetened beverages and to reduce overconsumption of these beverages through a county mandate.

On March 8, the Health and Hospital Committee (Sup. Yeager & Simitian) took up the board referral that included the following initial recommendations:

  • Revise the language in Ordinance Code, Chapter 22 (XXII), Division A18, to prohibit restaurants from (1) offering drinks other than water or milk, with no added sweeteners, in combination with a kids’ meal and (2) providing incentive items linked to the purchase of a drink other than water or milk, with no added sweetener; and
  • Develop a SCVHHS policy to prohibit the sale and distribution of sugar-sweetened beverages at all County-run health facilities.

The American Beverage Association, the California Restaurant Association and The SVO wrote letters of opposition and attended to speak on what is clearly an overreach by local government to limit consumer choices. Supervisor Joe Simitian expressed concerns about this overreach and Supervisor Yeager continued to express support for his referral. Because of the split vote the referral will go to the full Board of Supervisors for a vote on April 25.


STATUS: SCC Board of Supervisors to consider on April 25

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Questions? Please contact Victor Cuauhtémoc Gomez, Sr. Director of Public Policy at

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