Santa Fe Beverage Tax: A Brief History

On May 2nd (with early voting beginning April 12),a special election will be held solely for Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales’ highest-in-the-nation 2 cent-per-ounce beverage tax on drinks with added sugar. Voters across the nation have rejected similar taxes 43 times over the past several years, but it’s been a long and winding road since the issue in Santa Fe has reared its head leaving many to ask how we got here.

October 12, 2016: Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales introduces a resolution calling for the city to “to explore active ways of reducing sugar intake among Santa Fe’s residents and the benefits that would result.”

October 19, 2016: On this blog, the Rio Grande Foundation quickly calls the mayor out for “mission creep” and suggested a crusade against sugar doesn’t belong on his to-do list.

October 21, 2016: Mayor Gonzales denies he is working on a tax, telling T.S. Last of the Albuquerque Journal:  “This doesn’t lay the groundwork for anything but a healthier community.”

October 29, 2016: In a piece published in the Santa Fe New Mexican, RGF Research Director Dowd Muska warns readers: “don’t buy the mayor’s claim.” Taxing soda, after all, has become an idée fixe for the left’s unsleeping army of lifestyle police.

November 10, 2016: Mayor Gonzales proves us right, announces a proposal to impose a highest-in-the-nation (tied with Boulder, Colorado) two-cent-per-ounce beverage tax a long list of beverages.

January 25, 2017: The Rio Grande Foundation issues a report that found Mayor Gonzales misled the public about his intention to impose a beverage tax from the start. He and his staff had already been planning a beverage for weeks when he denied it to the Albuquerque Journal.

March 8, 2017: The Santa Fe City Council votes to hold a special election, at a cost to the city of up to $95,000, to decide on the issue.

Rio Grande Foundation opposes beverage taxes because they are regressive and an unnecessary intrusion into the live of citizens, and even more so when tax-and-spend politicians like Mayor Javier Gonzales mislead the public in their quest for more government spending. Continue watching this space for more updates.

Early Voting: April 12-April 28

Office of the City Clerk, Room 215, City Hall, 200 Lincoln Avenue
Genoveva Chavez Community Center, 3221 Rodeo Road

Election Day voting: May 2 (7am-7pm)

Montezuma Lodge, 431 Paseo de Peralta
St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 1301 Osage Avenue
St. John’s United Methodist Church, 1200 Old Pecos Trail
Christian Life Church, 121 Siringo Road
Sweeney Elementary School, 4100 S. Meadows Road
Southside Library, 6599 Jaguar Drive
Kearny Elementary School, 901 Avenida de las Ca

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