Where ‘Yes! To Affordable Groceries’ Really Means No to a Soda Tax

Where ‘Yes! To Affordable Groceries’ Really Means No to a Soda Tax

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Like many consumers, Ms. Brumfield was shocked to study that Coca-Cola, Pepsi and the Dr Pepper Snapple Group have supplied the lion share of cash to advertise the measure. “Understanding that type of provides me pause about whether or not I ought to assist it,” she stated.
In Oregon, the grocery tax poll, often called Measure 103, has been met with extra public skepticism, largely as a result of it includes a change to the state structure. Opponents of the measure have additionally raised more cash than in Washington, round $2.6 million, together with an infusion of $1.5 million final week from former Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York. The group supporting the measure, Sure! Maintain Our Groceries Tax Free!, has raised greater than twice that quantity, with donations evenly break up between soda corporations and grocery store chains.
Critics accuse the Sure on 103 marketing campaign of spreading misinformation, citing a tv advert that claimed the initiative would stop levies on meals pantries. “There is no such thing as a universe by which meals banks are going to be taxed,” stated Matt Newell-Ching, public affairs director at Companions for a Starvation-Free Oregon, an advocacy group. “It’s like saying, ‘Vote for this measure and the sky will proceed to be blue.’”
Final 12 months, Seattle grew to become the primary metropolis within the Pacific Northwest to enact a tax on sugary drinks, and it might be allowed to stay in place ought to the poll measure cross. The tax is anticipated to generate $20.6 million this 12 months, cash that can go towards early schooling and a raft of applications that give the working poor higher entry to more healthy meals.
Sarah Wandler, a social employee on the Odessa Brown Youngsters’s Clinic, stated soda tax revenues have supplied 300 households on the clinic with vouchers to purchase contemporary produce at farmers’ markets and nook shops. “Our purchasers all report having more healthy meals in the home, and they’re making an attempt vegetables and fruit they by no means had earlier than,” she stated.
State Senator Reuven Carlyle, a Democrat, is pessimistic in regards to the prospects for defeating the proposal, however he takes the lengthy view, citing the decades-long battle towards Huge Tobacco that finally modified nationwide attitudes.
“On the finish of the day,” he stated, “you possibly can’t bury the reality, as a result of let’s be trustworthy: Nobody on the planet believes that soda is groceries.”

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