Boulder residents to vote on proposed sugary drink tax

BOULDER, Colo. -- Residents in Boulder will get the opportunity to vote on a proposed tax on soda and other sugary drinks in November.

A judge has cleared the way for the tax proposal to appear on the ballot. But the vote is not so sweet news for some people who fought to kill the measure.

Healthy Boulder Kids is behind the effort to get the tax approved. They claim it will increase access of healthy foods for kids at risk for obesity.

If approved, it will place a 2-cent per-ounce tax to all sodas and sugary drinks. That means a 12-ounce can of soda will cost an extra 24 cents. A six-pack would add $1.44.

Opponents of the tax said the petitions gathered by the group were illegal and the levy would be a violation of Colorado's Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

Boulder District Judge Norma Sierra ruled the initiative did not contain false statements and denied an appeal by resident Mark Gelband.

The Boulder City Council placed the measure on the ballot at a meeting Tuesday night.

The beverage industry is backing opponents in the tax battle. Healthy Boulder Kids has the backing of the American Heart Association.