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The Denver Channel - November 3, 2016

Boulder County businesses caught in ‘soda tax' crosshairs

BOULDER, Colo. -- Boulder residents are voting on a ballot measure that would tax sugary drinks like soda.

Ballot Issue 2H would require distributors of the sugary drinks to pay a tax of up to 2 cents per ounce on beverages with at least 5 grams of added sugar.

Healthy Boulder Kids says the measure, often referred to as a soda tax, would only target companies that distribute drinks with high-sugar content and would not affect consumers or retailers.

However, the measure may leave a bad taste in the mouths of some Boulder County businesses who feel they may end up as collateral damage in the war against obesity.

A Boulder-based tea company, Rowdy Mermaid Kombucha, told Denver7 partner the Denver Post that it may eliminate three popular probiotic tea flavors because they barely cross the threshold and would be taxed.

The owners feel their drinks shouldn’t be grouped together with other beverages like Coke and Pepsi, which have much higher sugar content.

The co-founder of Doctor D's water kefir, another Boulder County beverage company, said they were shocked to learn that their product, many appreciate as a soda alternative, would be taxed, too.

The ballot issue would increase funding directed at promoting exercise and healthy eating.

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