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Local soda taxes would be banned in California under developing deal

June 25, 2018

The Sacramento Bee,

Alexei Koseff,

June 24, 2018-

California would ban its cities and counties from creating taxes on soda and other sugary drinks for more than a decade if the Legislature approves a budget trailer bill introduced Sunday. The language, which is still being finalized, is part of a developing deal between organized labor and business groups to remove from the November ballot a proposed measure that would make it harder to raise state and local taxes. Senate Bill 872 prohibits new local taxes on “groceries,” such as “carbonated and non-carbonated nonalcoholic beverages,” through the end of 2030, including any that may pass this year.

The Service Employees International Union California has been leading cities and other public employee unions in a campaign against the initiative, which they argue would devastate local governments still recovering from the economic recession by undermining their ability to find new sources of revenue to balance their budgets. “Keeping this costly initiative off the ballot would be good news for communities across the state who count on crucial local services…”

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