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I-1634 approved for ballot; Wash. voters to decide whether to bar local soda taxes

Ice cubes in cola beverage, close up. (Getty Creative)

OLYMPIA, Wash.  — Washington voters will decide this November whether local governments should be barred from placing new taxes on soda or other grocery items.

Last week, the secretary of state’s office certified Initiative 1634 to appear on the ballot. Supporters submitted more than 380,000 signatures last month.

If approved, the measure would prevent cities and counties from imposing their own taxes on sodas or other sweetened beverages. The measure does not prevent the state from doing so and it would not affect Seattle’s soda tax that took effect this year.

The campaign supporting I-1634 has raised more than $6 million, with The Coca-Cola Co. contributing nearly $3 million, PepsiCo, Inc. giving more than $2 million and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. giving nearly $1 million.