The Latest: Soda tax backers say measure will be on ballot

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Posted: May 12, 2016 4:19 PM
The Latest: Soda tax backers say measure will be on ballot

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Latest on a San Francisco ballot measure to tax sugary sweetened beverages (all times local):

1:15 p.m.

A spokeswoman for a sugary soda tax campaign in San Francisco says the measure will be on the November ballot, despite missing a key deadline by one day.

The campaign had collected more than 18,000 signatures to put the initiative on the ballot, but missed the deadline to submit those signatures.

But that's not the only way to get on the ballot. Supervisors can also place a measure on the ballot.

A spokeswoman for Supervisor Malia Cohen's office said she plans to do so. She would need the support of at least three others on the board.

Supporters can also choose to circulate another petition and collect the 9,485 signatures needed by July 11.

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11:50 a.m.

San Francisco's elections director says he will reject a petition to place a sugary drink tax on the November ballot.

John Arntz said the campaign missed the deadline to submit signatures, by one day.

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

In a press conference on the steps of city hall, they vowed to take down "Big Soda," two years after a similar effort failed to garner the two-thirds approval required for a dedicated tax. This time, the plan for a general tax would have required a simple majority.

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

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10:45 a.m.

San Francisco backers of a tax on sugary beverages are expected to announce they have enough signatures to put the measure on the November ballot.

A press conference is scheduled for Thursday morning.

This would be San Francisco's second attempt in two years trying to put a tax on the highly caloric drinks that some public health advocates say contributes to obesity. A 2014 attempt failed to garner the two-thirds approval needed for a dedicated tax.

This time, backers are going for a general 1-cent per ounce tax on sugary drinks. That requires a simple majority vote. Oakland officials this month put a similar tax on the fall ballot as well.

Berkeley approved the first soda tax in the nation in 2014.

Opponents say the tax unfairly singles out soda.