Soda tax backers in San Francisco said on Thursday that the decision for the sugary beverage tax will be on November’s ballots, even though the group missed a deadline to provide the needed signatures by one day.
Campaign organizers stated that the group had collected almost the double of signatures – about 18,000 – needed for the decision to pass. However, elections director John Arnts, whose office is in charge of verifying the signatures, said that the campaign missed the deadline to submit the request and denied their petition, as reported by the Washington Post.
The missed deadline was attributed to a “technical error” within the soda tax backers group, although they assured to continue pursuing the fight against the non-alcoholic beverage companies, whose products are related to obesity, diabetes and other illnesses.
As the remaining options for the tax backers, supervisors can place a measure on the ballot or the group can choose to circulate another petition and collect other 9,485 signatures needed by July 11. The petition in San Francisco was supposed to be introduced within the 180 from the date of the City Attorney’s Title and Summary. This was on May 11 at 5 pm.
“We are not just going to sit back while our families suffer, while our parents suffer, while children get manipulated by the big soda industry and the community is destroyed,” said San Francisco Supervisor Malia Cohen, surrounded by advocates.
In 2014, Berkeley, California, passed the soda tax in San Francisco and failed at the ballot. The consultation did not obtain the two-thirds approval needed for a dedicated tax. This year’s proposal requires by law only the simple majority to pass the measure.
According to CalBev, an organization that represents the non-alcoholic beverage companies in the area, the one cent per ounce tax would only hurt small business and was qualified as unfair to single out one product. Following the soda tax footsteps, Oakland officials introduced a similar tax consultation on the fall ballot.
Source: The Washington Post