Last Tuesday, voters
in Oregon and Washington decided on referendums that would ban local
governments from implementing taxes on “raw or processed food or beverages.”
Oregon’s measure was defeated, while Washington’s referendum was successful.
The referendums in
both states received heavy support
from the soda industry, which spent over $20 million in Washington
and just over $7 million in Oregon. Spending in Washington dwarfed spending of
groups who opposed the measure and was almost equal to the spending of
opposition groups in Oregon.
Similar measures have
been passed in the legislatures in Arizona and Michigan. California also placed
a 12-year moratorium on local taxes on sugary drinks, facing pressure from the