Multnomah County voters could see a measure to tax soda pop, energy drinks and other sugar-added beverages at one cent per ounce on their November ballots.
The measure is an effort spearheaded by Portland doctor Gregg Coodley to raise money for kids' health programs. About half of the estimated $35 million per year the tax would raise for Multnomah County government would be set aside for to after-school and P.E. programs administered at school districts within the county. The other half will go toward county-run jobs programs for the unemployed.
Coodley's campaign will need to gather 16,851 signatures to get the measure on the ballot in the fall.
Coodley was active in Multnomah County’s recent successful effort to ban Bisphenol A from sippy cups.
City Commissioner Erik Sten's former policy advisor, Rich Rodgers, will manage the campaign.
County spokeswoman Julie Sullivan says the county is not involved in the campaign at all and has not taken a position. "We've got a lot of things going on and this isn't one of them," she says.