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October 18, 2018 Preemption Watch Newsletter
Spotlight: Soda Tax Preemption in Washington & Oregon

Both Washington State and Oregon are facing industry funded Initiatives on the November 6, 2018 ballot to preempt local soda taxes. Here are a few breaking stories on those campaigns just three weeks out from Election Day:
 
Statewide ban on soda and food taxes down 20 points, poll finds
Despite outspending the ‘No’ campaign by a factor of 1,500, the initiative is poised to fail.
Crosscut, 10/12/2018

 
There’s a lot of reason to think Initiative 1634 should be successful. Appearing on Washington state ballots mailed out this month, the initiative is backed by more than $13 million in campaign contributions, while opponents have raised a mere $8,650… Which is why it is surprising that, according to the new statewide Crosscut/Elway Poll, I-1634 is behind by 20 points…
 
In a statement to Crosscut from the Yes on I-1634 campaign, Pete Lamb, senior business agent at Teamsters Local 174, is quoted as saying the initiative will “protect our most basic essentials, food and beverages, from the kind of ‘privilege tax’ that was passed in Seattle.”
 

The Teamsters, Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Washington Food Industry Association and Korean-American Grocers Association of Washington have formed a coalition in support of the initiative. But the funding comes almost entirely from the soda industry. Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper and Snapple contributed more than $12.8 million of the $13,010,000 raised by the Yes campaign. [Emphasis added]
 
Lopsided I-1634 campaign, with millions from soda industry, blankets airwaves
The Seattle Times, 10/13/2018
 
The most lopsided campaign on Washington’s November ballot is a microcosm of the battle the soda industry is waging across the country.
 
Initiative 1634, backed to the tune of $13 million by a soda-pop industry that sees a threat to its profits in a growing wave of regulation, would ban local taxes on any food or beverage or ingredient intended for human consumption. The campaign echoes a similarly well-funded effort that took out a smaller statewide soda tax eight years ago.
 
Oregon Tax Measures Are Raising Big—and Lopsided—Money
The “yes” campaigns on two measures to block new taxes are drawing big corporate spending.
Willamette Week, 10/3/2018

 
An Oregon Ban on Grocery Taxes Could Hamstring Local Control of E-Cigarettes
Willamette Week, 10/10/2018
 
Measure 103 would amend the Oregon Constitution to ban taxes on “groceries,” but what that term includes has been the subject of debate. The measure grants exceptions for tobacco products, but opponents say the measure would ban potential future taxes on e-cigarettes and vaping products.
 
More coverage of the Soda Industry’s preemption initiatives in Oregon and Washington can be found below…

 

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