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Soda Tax Ban Becomes Law, Industry Groups Yank California Ballot Measure Threatening Government Services

June 29, 2018

Capital Public Radio,

Ben Adler,

June 28, 2018-

California lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown have banned cities and counties from enacting new taxes on soda and sugary-drink products. They rushed through a bill on Thursday to meet the deadline for proponents of November ballot initiatives to withdraw their measures. In exchange for this new law, the soda industry and a California business group are rescinding an initiative from the November ballot that would raise the voter threshold to approve general purpose local sales tax increases and extensions from a majority to two-thirds.

“We’re certainly ready to help lawmakers keep groceries affordable in California,” said William Dermody with the American Beverage Association, which has spent tens of millions of dollars in recent years fighting soda taxes in cities throughout the state — with mixed success. Dermody said the bill signed by the governor “would guarantee that local businesses and our consumers wouldn’t be harmed by these kinds of grocery taxes.” Many Democrats could hardly restrain their fury.

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