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In California, a pre-emptive strike in the soda tax battle may have lit a bigger fuse.

July 9, 2018

US News,

Joseph P. Williams,

July 5, 2018-

ESCALATING ITS WAR WITH the public health community, Big Soda dropped the big one in California last week, successfully pushing the state government to ban localities from passing new taxes on soft drinks and other sugary beverages for the next 12 years. Backed by the billions of dollars it earns in annual profits, the beverage industry and its business allies flexed their muscles with state lawmakers in part to end local fights – and curb any national momentum – centered on soda taxes: levies designed to curb sweetened-beverage consumption that often come with a promise to fund local education and health-promotion efforts.

On Monday, however, a coalition led by two of the Golden State’s major medical organizations launched a counterattack, announcing a plan for a 2020 ballot initiative that, if approved, would create a statewide tax on sugar-sweetened drinks, raise at least $1.7 billion for health programs and write localities’ power to enact similar taxes into California’s Constitution.