Big money pours into Washington's anti-soda tax measure

SEATTLE  — A campaign funded almost entirely by the soda industry has raised $20.21 million to pass a measure that would prohibit local governments from imposing new taxes on soda or grocery items.

The money raised so far by the Yes to Affordable Groceries campaign, sponsored by the American Beverage Association, positions it near the top of fundraising efforts in a statewide initiative campaign.

If approved, the measure would prevent cities and counties from imposing their own taxes on soda or food products. The measure doesn't prevent the state from doing so and Seattle's soda tax would remain in effect.

The campaign's top donors include The Coca-Cola Co. with more than $9.6 million, PepsiCo, Inc. with nearly $7.3 million and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. with more than $3 million.

Opponents have raised $8,650 with $6,000 coming from Seattle's Foundation for Healthy Generations.