Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Beverage and Grocery Tax?
This November, Boulder is considering ballot measure 2H, a "soda tax," which is really a beverage and grocery tax in disguise. This tax on the distribution of sugar-sweetened beverages and would get passed on to Boulder restaurant owners, grocers and retailers. The tax won’t automatically be limited to sugar-sweetened beverages. Boulder grocers, restaurant owners and retailers could be forced to raise the price of any item that they sell.
Will this tax make Boulder residents healthier?
No, absolutely not. A tax is the wrong approach to solving the obesity epidemic. Obesity and diabetes are very complex diseases that can’t be solved by focusing on one food or beverage. When it comes right down to it, taxes don’t make people healthy. Only diet and exercise can do that.
How does the beverage and grocery tax impact local restaurant owners and grocers?
More taxes mean beverages and groceries could be more expensive and shoppers will go elsewhere like Louisville and Boulder County.

Local restaurant owners and grocers will be bound to a completely new accounting and costly reporting system leaving them open to enforcement and a tedious appeals process. (Ordinance NO. 8130 Sugar Sweetened Beverage Product Distribution Tax) It will create more red tape for grocers, restaurants and small businesses—not to mention additional overhead and administrative costs.
I’ve heard this tax referred to as “regressive.” What do people mean by that?
You will often hear taxes like the Beverage and Grocery Tax referred to as "regressive." That’s because taxes like this one disproportionately affect low-income and working class families who spend a larger percentage of their income on food than higher-income families.

A few months back, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders came out in opposition to a similar proposal in Philadelphia for this very reason.

Sanders believes a tax at the grocery store would hurt low and middle-income families. In an interview on NBC’s Meet The Press, Sanders claimed the soda tax is "a totally regressive tax" and money shouldn’t be raised on "the backs of low-income or hard-working people."
What can I do to stop this tax?
First and foremost, you can vote NO on ballot measure 2H, the Beverage and Grocery Tax. By rejecting taxes like this one, you’ll send a clear message that Boulder residents and businesses have higher priorities for city government than taxing beverages and groceries.

You can stay up-to-date on the latest grocery tax proposals by joining our growing citizens’ coalition.