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California bows against the beverage industry, blocking soda taxes



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A new push by the beverage industry slows the expansion of soda tax in California and elsewhere.

California cities pioneered soda-taxing obesity, diabetes and heart disease, but Legislature and Governor Jerry Brown on Thursday bowed under pressure from beverage producers and reluctantly banned local taxes on soda for the next 1

2 years.

It follows similar bans recently adopted in Arizona and Michigan. Oregon voters will pass a nationwide ban in November. The American Beverage Association, which represents Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and others, has supported the measures after several cities have passed taxes on sugary drinks in recent years.

"I've been in politics for a long time and sometimes you have to do what is necessary to avoid a disaster."

California's ban is part of a last-minute maneuver to support a beverage industry-sponsored referendum which would make it harder for cities and counties to levy taxes of any kind. The ABA said in a statement that legislation is about making food, including drinks, affordable.

Legislators approved the proposal despite deep restraint.

"This industry targets a nuclear weapon on the government in California and says," If you do not do what we want, we'll push the trigger, and you will not be able to fund basic government services, " said Senator Scott Wiener, a San Francisco Democrat who has a soda tax [19659010] Image: Matthew Harper "[>19659010] Crewmate Matthew Harper, of R-Huntington Beach, sips a coke as members of the rally on the 28th June 2001 in Sacramento, California, discussing a ban on local soda financings. Rich Pedroncelli / AP

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But local government officials, startled by the prospect of having their hands tied "I have been in politics for a long time and sometimes you have to do what is necessary to avoid a catastrophe", Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, who drives a local sale, said tax hike would be jeopardized if the ballot measure passed.

The governor said that only a handful of communities pay taxes on soda, but the electoral measure would affect all 482 California cities. Called on them to express their concerns and to support the compromise that this bill represents ", he said. Englisch: www.mjfriendship.de/en/index.php?op…27&Itemid=47. Brown wrote in a memo explaining his decision.

The Californian measure bans new taxes on groceries, including drinks, by 2030, but allows four San Francisco Bay Area cities to keep soda taxes on their books.

The beverage industry has used aggressive campaign to repudiate soda taxes and other measures. But some soda tax efforts are now getting better funding. Former New Yorker Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire who unsuccessfully attempted to limit the size of sugary drinks sold in the city to 16 ounces, has been funding some local endeavors.

Philadelphia, Seattle and Boulder, Colorado also have taxes on sugary drinks.

After Brown signed the legislation, the California Business Roundtable withdrew a vote to raise the threshold for possible local government tax increases.

Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association, asked for a meeting with Governor Jerry Brown after the Sacramento Bee reported drink industry lobbyists this month with Brown and his wife Anne Gust Brown at the Governor's Mansion in Sacramento [19659-04AspokesmanforBrownEvanWestrupsaidthegovernordidnotnegotiatethedealThedinnerwasunrelated


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