Washington voters asked to ban future soda taxes

SEATTLE (AP) — In the wake of Seattle’s new tax on sugary beverages, voters will be asked in November to stop other local governments in Washington from following suit.

Initiative 1634 would prohibit local governments from imposing their own taxes on food or beverages.

While the campaign emphasizes keeping food affordable, soda corporations including The Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo, Inc. have poured upward of $20 million into the campaign.

Seattle’s tax on sugary beverages is the first such tax in the state but is among more than a half dozen cities with similar taxes around the country.

Proponents of I-634 say soda taxes are regressive, weigh down small businesses and hit working people the hardest. Opponents say the measure would take away the power of local governments to raise money and allow corporate interests to create state policy.