Voters in two Californian cities turned down proposed soda taxes because they are “wrongheaded and ineffective” in tackling obesity, the American Beverage Association (ABA) has told just-drinks. 

Richmond and El Monte residents are not opposed to taxes but their rejection of the local government plans on Tuesday (6 November) show soda taxes are “bad policy and politics”, the ABA argued. Some 67% opposed the US$0.01 duty for every ounce of sugary beverage in Richmond, while 77% voted it down in El Monte.

“The overwhelming defeat of two beverage taxes in California is a continuation of what we’ve seen from other states and cities that have tried to tax beverages - voters understand it’s futile to fight obesity with new taxes,” the ABA said.

“Richmond and El Monte voted for other taxes on the ballot Tuesday night, but they threw out the idea of taxing beverages.”

The rejected taxes follow legal moves to overturn a scheduled ban on large sugary soft drinks in New York City. According to a New York Times poll, 51% of residents oppose the ban.