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Michael Finney answers your consumer questions

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Fed up? Curious? Furious?! If you need help, just ask Michael Finney, your own consumer expert from 7 On Your Side!

7 On Your Side's Consumer expert Michael Finney answers your questions, every weekday on ABC7 Mornings. Submit your video questions and tune in at 6 a.m.

There are lots of ways to Ask Finney -- Share your video questions using #AskFinney, use the form on this page, or email us at askfinney@kgo-tv.com. We want to hear from you!

Michael Finney answered these questions:

Question 1:
Mark M. from Antioch emailed: "I drink sugar-free soda, so, why do I still have to pay a sugar tax? This really doesn't make sense to me."

Answer:
Diet soda is exempt because it does not have added tax. But, sugary soda, energy drinks, juice with added sugar and syrups that go into sugary drinks - like that Starbucks Frappuccino, are charged the tax. Right now, Berkeley is the only city to pass a penny-per-ounce tax on soda. That could change come Election Day, voters San Francisco, Oakland and Albany will get a chance to decide on a soda tax in November.

Question 2:
Christy S. asked on Twitter: "Why is there so much new building when we have a water shortage?"
Answer:
Building is a local matter and we all see the Bay Area is growing a lot. So, it's not surprising to see more construction. As for supplying the water, state law requires assessments for large projects, which is at least 500 units. The developer needs to show it has a supplier that has enough water to serve for 20 years. If there's no supplier, it's up to the city of county to do the assessment. For smaller commercial or residential buildings, water supply is assessed through the city or county.

Question 3:
Dominic A. from Newark emailed: "I received a check from an Apple eBooks anti-trust litigation for $58.47 cents. I was wondering if this is a valid check or not?"

Answer:
Yes, Dominic, cash it. Apple recently started paying out $400 million to customers who were in its eBook price-fixing settlement. You'll get either a credit or check, depending on where you bought the eBooks. Customers who are eligible bought an eBook between April 1, 2012 and May 21, 2012.
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