Soda Tax Preemption in Washington

Voters in Washington State will have the opportunity to do the same thing that California legislators did a few months ago when I-1634 is on the ballot in November. Initiative-1634 is an initiative petition that would prohibit local communities from levying new or increased taxes, fees or assessments on raw or processed foods, beverages, or…

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Soda Tax Issues Go To Voters

Soda taxes have been challenged by business interests across the country and have largely been given the judicial green light more often than not. In at least two jurisdictions over the next few months, questions surrounding the tax will go before the voters over different issues. First, in Boulder Colorado, which implemented a 2 cents-per-ounce levy…

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California Passes Healthy Kids Meal Bill

The California state legislature has passed and sent on to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature, S.1192 – the Healthy Kids Meal Act. Just weeks after the Golden State banned local communities from passing their own taxes on groceries (including and ostensibly, targeting soda), the legislature is dictating that only water, flavored water or unflavored…

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Philly Soda Tax Upheld by Court

In a 4-2 decision, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the validity of the Philadelphia soda tax, rejecting a major challenge brought by the beverage and food merchant industries. Philadelphia passed the new tax back in 2016 assessing distributors and dealers 1.5 cents per ounce on sugary beverages. The city cleverly drafted the tax to apply…

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Man Bites Dog as California Bans Soda Taxes

Yes, it is true – not the man bites dog part, but the rest is anyway!) California Governor Jerry Brown last week very quickly signed into law a bill that prohibits local communities in the Golden State from enacting any taxes on groceries – including nonalcoholic beverages – at least until 2031. The first soda…

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Soda Tax Argued Before Supreme Court

The constitutionality of the controversial Philadelphia soda tax was argued before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Harrisburg earlier this week. The tax became effective almost a year and a half ago, but was immediately challenged by the beverage industry. In the absence of an injunction while the challenge made its way through the courts, Philadelphia…

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What’s Brewing: Joint-employer, Menu labeling, Minimum wage, Soda tax

The more things change the more they stay the same. That’s the theme when it comes to a couple of critical federal regulations that have the potential to have a big impact on the bottom line of the quick service industry. Victory celebrations over the rollback of the joint-employer rule turned out to be short-lived,…

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Philadelphia Soda Tax

There seems to be a lot more “he said, she said” over the Philadelphia soda tax and how much that money grab is affecting small businesses in the city. Last month, the Controller criticized the administration for not spending the funds as originally intended but rather salting most of it away (74% or $63 million…

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State Preemptions

As more municipalities get involved in mandating what have historically fallen within the purview of the state or federal government, the notion of passing state preemptions becomes more important. On the matter of salary history bans, the state of Michigan recently took precisely that action, sending Senate bill 353 to Governor Rick Snyder for his…

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Soda Tax Stories

The soda tax, one of the more recent schemes to extract money from the public is headed for two court appearances, one in California and the other in Pennsylvania, while the Philadelphia tax generated over $13 million less than projected for the year. At the end of the calendar year, the city of Philadelphia actually…

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