Elections chief says soda tax backers missed deadline

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco’s elections director said Thursday he will reject a petition to place a sugary drink tax on the November ballot, after it missed a key deadline by one day.

Backers of a tax on sugary sweetened beverages announced earlier in the morning that they had collected more than 18,000 signatures for the petition, well over the 9,485 required.

But elections director John Arntz, whose office verifies the signatures, said the campaign missed the deadline to submit those signatures.

Representatives for the campaign could not be reached immediately for comment.

Earlier in the day, they vowed to beat soda companies whose products they say contribute to obesity, diabetes and a host of other health ills.

Berkeley, California, became the first city in the country to approve a soda tax, in 2014. That year, a San Francisco campaign for a sugary drink tax failed at the ballot, as it did not get the two-thirds approval needed for a dedicated tax.

This year’s petition is a general tax, which needs a simple majority.

Oakland officials have placed a sugary sweetened drink tax on the November ballot.

Comments are closed.