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Soda tax backlash

In the last few months, politicians and businesses in the US have began to fight back against soda taxes.

In May last year, voters in Santa Fe rejected a soda tax in a special election, with the 'no' vote reaching 70% in some areas of the city. Even in some of the more affluent areas, the 'no' vote reached 50%. Michael Bloomberg donated heavily to the pro-soda tax campaign, but Santa Fe voters could see that the tax would have hurt poorer households and small businesses.

And then in October, there was a stunning repeal of the Cook County soda tax by local politicians. The vote was near unanimous in the lengthy four-hour meeting. The tax had only been in place for 10 weeks before the repeal vote.

As a compromise though, they voted to delay the repeal until December, to give local officials time to find other sources of revenue.

And in Michigan, state senator Peter MacGregor proposed a bill that would ban soda taxes anywhere in the state. The bill was voted through, and in November, the Michigan governor Rick Snyder signed the bill into law. There were no plans for a soda tax anyway, but small businesses welcomed this pre-emptive move to introduce the ban.

In Arizona, the Governor has just signed into law a bill that bans soda taxes in any city or county, and in Oregon and Washington state, similar campaigns have been launched too. The movement is growing!