Beverage Industry Fights California Soda Tax With $1.5 Million

Measure H, which will tax local businesses for soda sales, is on the November 6th ballot

Flickr/SajrnNo1
The beverage industry and local businesses unite in discontent over proposed El Monte soda tax.

The American Beverage Association is at it again, this time spending a whopping $1.5 million to oppose a soda tax on the November 6th ballot in the Los Angeles area.

Measure H is the newest bill supporting the fight against sugary drinks in El Monte, Calif. The legislation would tax local businesses for the selling of sugar-sweetened beverages, charging one cent for every ounce sold. Some estimate the new tax would bring in $3 to $7 million per year for the city’s general fund. In a city with the ninth highest obesity rate in California, El Monte mayor Andre Quintero insists on the necessity of the bill.

“We’re trying to find a way to solve two public policy objectives,” Quintero said. “One: to raise revenue for the community. And two: to be able to put a tax on products that have been shown to be linked to obesity.”

So far, the American Beverage Association has put forth $850,000 to stop the beverage tax, an amount that is more than 20 times larger than the monetary efforts of the beverage tax advocates. The beverage industry isn’t the only group worried over the new tax; local businesses fear the detriment to their livelihood if the bill is passed.

How loudly will the beverage industry’s money speak to voters? We’ll have to wait until November to see.  


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