Early returns show El Monte's proposed soda tax failing by a large margin today. Measure H proposed a one-cent per ounce tax on sugary drinks sold in the city, raising the cost of beverages with added sugar.
City officials estimated that the tax would have generated between $3.5 million and $7 million a year.
But the idea did not go over well with some business owners, who claimed the tax would hurt local merchants who would have to charge higher prices for drinks. And the beverage industry bankrolled a highly visible opposition campaign, featuring billboards, mailers and signs that appear throughout the city.
The proposed tax applied not only to sodas, but to drinks popular in the area such as bubble tea, horchata, and agua fresca.
Additional reporting by City News Service