BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4)– A ballot measure that would allow voters to weigh in on whether to tax sugary drinks in Boulder is in question. At issue is the language of the measure.
The group Healthy Boulder Kids gathered signatures for the issue but the Colorado Beverage Association claims it was not written correctly.
Representatives from the CBA protested the initiative and would like to see it dismissed completely. Attorneys for the CBA claim the 9,200 people who signed the petition to tax soda didn’t have an adequate summary of what the ballot measure actually was.
They say the summary left out information about Colorado’s Tax Payers Bill of Rights, or TABOR, which would mean implementation of a new tax if the measure was approved.
The 9,200 signatures on the petition have already been approved by the Boulder City Clerk, with 4,642 required to be approved for the issue to appear on the ballot.
Those who created the petition to tax soda and other sugary drinks say it was clear what people were signing.
“I think, in fact, it didn’t confuse… I don’t know anybody who has been confused. There have been people who have talked about it and obviously recognize that there is a tax to be imposed,” said petition co-creator Lynn Gilbert.
Now, the city clerk in Boulder will have to decide if the attorneys for CBA successfully made the argument.
“When you read a summary, and everybody’s signed a petition before, and when you’re going to sign a petition, you look at the top and say, ‘Hey, what am I signing here?’ and you’ve got like 20 seconds to decide. We’ve all been in this situation. Well, we’re saying that the summary that people read, didn’t tell people that this was actually to adopt a new tax. They didn’t know what they were signing and because they didn’t know what they were signing this should not go on the ballot,” said Colorado Beverage Association attorney Chris Murray.
The Boulder city clerk has until Sept. 6 to decide how to proceed.