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Voters in Alaska town reject proposed soda tax

October 2, 2019 GMT

UTQIAGVIK, Alaska (AP) — Voters in the nation’s northernmost community have rejected a proposal to impose Alaska’s first tax on sugary sodas and other sweetened beverages.

Voters in Utqiagvik (oot-kay-AH’-vik) turned down the ballot measure Tuesday. According to unofficial city results, 497 votes were cast against it and another 126 supported it.

The measure called for a 1-cent tax per 1 ounce (28 grams) of soda, energy drinks and sugar-sweetened beverages sold in the community. Fountain drinks also would have been taxed by volume.

The proposal did not cover 100% fruit or vegetable juices, milk products, medicinal drinks, baby formula, weight-loss drinks or alcohol. Zero-calorie sodas and bottled water also would have been exempt.

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Most of the tax proceeds would have been reserved for youth programs and activities sponsored or conducted by the city.

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