PORTLAND, Ore. -- Voters in Multnomah County might be voting on a soda tax this fall.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that the health advocates behind the proposal must gather 17,381 valid signatures from Multnomah County voters to get the item on the November ballot.
Voters would decide whether to add a tax of 1.5 cents per ounce on sugary drinks, including soda, energy drinks and sweetened teas. That means an 18-cent tax on a 12-ounce can of soda.
The group, called the Coalition for Healthy Kids and Education, says the proposal would raise an estimated $28.4 million per year in Multnomah County, and reduce diabetes cases by five percent in its first year.
The proposal suggests using the tax revenue to help pay for early childhood education, and programs in schools to promote healthy food and lifestyle choices.
The American Heart Association has helped passed similar measures in several California cities as well as Philadelphia and Boulder, Colorado.