Sugary drink tax proposed for Multnomah County

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A new initiative to fund children’s health would impose a 1 cent per ounce tax on distribution of sugary drinks.

Upsteam Public Health filed the initiative to combat high rates of diabetes, heart disease and tooth decay in Multnomah County.

The plan would raise an estimated $22 million per year in Multnomah County.

“This initiative will fund effective programs to improve the health of our children, such as healthier food in schools, physical activity programs, and preschool education for low-income families,” said Mel Rader, Executive Director of Upstream in a press release.  “A distribution tax on soda is the ideal way to fund these critical initiatives, because it will reduce the consumption of empty calories which are linked to diabetes, heart disease and other conditions.”

Some cities have similar proposed taxes including Berkeley, San Francisco and Philadelphia.

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