SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a measure blocking new local taxes on soda and other sugary drinks for the next 12 years.
Beverage companies such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have moved to convince state Legislatures around the country to block local taxation of sugary drinks. A growing number of cities are looking toward taxes to discourage people from drinking beverages linked to obesity.
Brown’s signature Thursday clears the way for the California Business Roundtable to withdraw a ballot measure that would ask voters to make it harder for local governments to raise taxes of any kind.
Brown took heat when a photo emerged showing him alongside beverage industry lobbyists at the governor’s mansion. Brown’s spokesman says the meeting earlier this month was unrelated to the deal.
Lawmakers in both legislative chambers reluctantly approved the legislation Thursday in hopes of eliminating a ballot measure that would have made it much harder for local governments to raise taxes of any kind.
Business groups supporting the ballot measure and public employee unions reached an agreement to drop the initiative if the bill passes. Unions and local governments fear the ballot measure would endanger revenue and put government jobs at risk.
Gov. Brown signs 12-year soda tax ban