Soda Industry PAC - “Better Way” Lying to Voters
Summary: Voters should be aware that the Soda Industry sponsored PAC “Better Way for Santa Fe” is lying to voters on telephone calls to Santa Feans. Several voters in Santa Fe have received calls from the Better Way PAC containing outright falsehoods about what items are included in the proposed Soda Tax - they are claiming that diet drinks will be covered by the tax, which is simply false. This tax is on sugary beverages only.
Here are more examples of the lies being spread by the Soda Industry and the facts to counter them.
Know the facts.
Here are five facts countering the Soda Industry’s lies.
Soda Industry’s Lies
We can’t afford the Soda Tax.
We can’t afford not to do it.
A thousand kids will be left behind each year. Kids who attend Pre-K tend to score higher in reading and math; are more likely to graduate high school’ and are more likely to have greater lifetime earnings.(1)
The Soda Tax will cost jobs.
The Soda Tax will create jobs.
A comprehensive, peer-reviewed medical study was just released on Berkeley, the American city with the longest standing soda tax. The economy and grocery stores did not suffer one bit. (2) Pre-K for Santa Fe will also create 200 good-paying jobs in early childhood education. (3)
The Soda Tax is regressive.
The Soda Tax is helping those who need it the most.
Low income families will benefit the most from the Soda Tax (4) in reduced rates of diabetes, obesity, and heart disease and increased access to Pre-K, which can cost $12,000 to $16,000 annually. (5)
The City will use these funds for something else.
The City cannot legally use these funds for anything else.
The ordinance passed by the City Council establishes a new Early Childhood Commission, which will track the progress of Pre-K programs and health impacts and report annually to the public to ensure the money benefits the areas of greatest need. (6) An independent public audit of all funds collected and spent will be conducted annually and published for citizen’s review and comment.
The City can fund Pre-K with the budget surplus.
Almost all of the surplus is legally restricted for other purposes and it won’t cover next year and beyond.
80% of the surplus is in restricted funds that must be used for necessities like water, wastewater, and transportation. (7) And the surplus is one-time; Pre-K is a recurring expense. State funding is not an option either - the legislature has failed to fund Pre-K for years, and Governor Martinez is now cutting public education. Big Soda has not offered one serious proposal to fund Pre-K because there is no better way to fund Pre-K than the Soda Tax.
Stay informed. Know the facts.
And please let us know if you continue to hear these lies from Big Soda.