Group pushes soda tax ballot measure in Multnomah County | Local

PORTLAND — Soda tax supporters have started collecting signatures to put a ballot measure before Multnomah County voters.

KGW-TV reported the Coalition for Healthy Kids and Education must collect about 18,000 signatures to place the proposal on the May 2018 ballot.

Voters would decide whether to add a 1.5 cents tax per ounce on sugary drinks including soda, energy drinks and sweetened teas. That means an 18-cent tax on each 12-ounce can.

Backers say half of the revenue would go toward expanding access of quality preschool programs for thousands of children.

The remainder would pay for programs on literacy, physical activity and healthy eating habits for kids.

Critics say it would affect low-income consumers the most. They also say it would hurt small businesses and cost jobs.

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