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Richmond, Calif. puts soda tax on November ballot

RICHMOND, Calif. (AP) -- Voters in the San Francisco Bay area city of Richmond will have a chance to vote on a proposal to tax soda and other sugary beverages.

The City Council voted 5-2 on Tuesday to place the soda tax measure on the Nov. 6 ballot. The money from the penny-per-ounce tax would go to soccer fields, school gardens and programs to treat diabetes and fight childhood obesity. It would raise between $2 million and $8 million.

Councilman Jeff Ritterman, who proposed the measure, said soda has no nutritional value.

But Councilman Corky Booze, who voted against it, said it would not deter people from drinking soda and impose an additional financial burden on the poor.

The tax would apply to soft drinks and other beverages with added sugar such as Snapple. Diet sodas and most juice would be exempt.