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USA Today reports that residents of three California cities -  San Francisco, Oakland and Albany - and Boulder, Colorado, all voted this week to tax sugary soft drinks, arguing that the imposition of such taxes could serve, by making such products more expensive, to help reduce consumption and address the health issues often related to them.

The story says that "Boulder added a 2-cent per ounce excise tax on distributors of sugary drinks such as soda, sports drinks and sweetened iced tea," while the three Northern California communities "each added a 1-cent per ounce excise tax."

The paper reports that "the taxes are projected to generate $15 million in San Francisco, $3.8 million in Boulder and $223,000 in Albany, according to estimates by each city. In Oakland, the tax was projected to generate $6 million to $10 million per year, according to the Oakland Chamber of Commerce, which took a neutral stance on the proposal." And, "the campaigns were big-dollar affairs rivaling U.S. Senate races," with tens of millions of dollars spent by the beverage industry to fight the bills, albeit unsuccessfully.
KC's View:
These votes provide yet another window to how divided the country is in terms of attitudes and priorities. You have Donald Trump being elected to the presidency and the GOP retaining control of both houses of Congress (though it remains to bee seen whether Trump, for most of his life a Democrat, will have precisely the same to-do list as the House and Senate). And then you have four communities passing legislation that probably would be anathema to the party now fully in charge of the federal government.

But, of course, we also have a country in which Hillary Clinton (narrowly) won the popular vote, and the communities that passed these taxes are located in areas that voted for her. (Let's face it. Clinton was a candidate who really only did well in the northeast and west coast, with just a few exceptions.)

I'm sure there are places where the soft drink industry wouldn't have to spend a buck-and-a-half to defeat such a tax proposal. That's probably okay. The debate will continue.