Soda tax measures in two Calif. cities fail

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Updated: 11/07/2012 1:53 pm

RICHMOND, Calif. (AP) — Voters in two California cities have overwhelmingly rejected a penny-per-ounce tax on businesses that sell soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages.

With all precincts reporting, the San Francisco Bay area city of Richmond's tax measure received about 33 percent of the vote.

A similar measure in the Los Angeles County city of El Monte was rejected by an even larger margin, receiving just about 23 percent of the vote.

Backers of Richmond's measure argued that the drinks are linked to childhood obesity, and the tax would reduce their consumption.

El Monte officials said their main goal was to raise revenue for city coffers.

Opponents countered that businesses would lose millions of dollars in sales, while prices would go up for consumers.

©2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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