Select Language: Español
Better Way for Santa Fe & Pre-K

In The News

Back-to-basics group wants to shake up city politics
July 30, 2017
At a Santa Fe City Council meeting in April, longtime community activist Gloria Mendoza railed against Mayor Javier Gonzales and city councilors who had voted to hold a special election on a proposed tax on sugary beverages to fund preschool programs.

Mayor warns county commissioners against tax increase
June 15, 2017
Mayor Javier Gonzales on Thursday warned county commissioners against raising gross receipts taxes, saying residents are in no mood to pay more for government services, a lesson he learned after a stinging defeat of his proposed tax on sugary beverages in a special election last month.

Santa Fe's rejection of soda tax a win for public health
May 17, 2017
Record numbers of voters turned out on May 2 to say no to a soda tax in Santa Fe, New Mexico. By proposing a two-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary soft drinks, policymakers meant to encourage healthier consumption choices. What soda tax advocates don't realize, however, is that a soda tax might actually encourage worse eating and drinking habits.

Way to go
May 16, 2017
I want to personally thank Santa Fe voters for overwhelmingly shooting down the soda tax...

Different approaches to state budget
May 9, 2017
“After the soda tax was emphatically rejected in liberal Santa Fe, it’s even more clear today that New Mexicans do not want higher taxes,” Lonergan, the governor’s spokesman, said Monday.

Soda tax proposal: A swing and miss from the start
May 5, 2017
It is with much satisfaction that I thank the city of Santa Fe working class voters for soundly defeating the proposed sugar tax on beverages.

Santa Fe Voters, Pro-Tax in the Past, Reject Them for Soda
May 5, 2017
Gov. Susana Martinez -- a Republican who vetoed a tax package passed by the Legislature this year -- seized on Tuesday's election as evidence that the public is tired of new taxes. "Hopefully, legislators heard this message," she said in a written statement late Tuesday.

Santa Fe soda tax rejected after record-high turnout
May 3, 2017
Santa Fe voters delivered a decisive rejection of a proposed 2-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary beverages to support early childhood education Tuesday in a special election.

Voters smack down mayor’s beverage tax proposal
May 2, 2017
Opponents resisted the proposed tax as an unfair overreach by city leaders and not the best way to fulfill a recognized need for expanding access to preschool programs.

Soda tax goes flat in Santa Fe
May 2, 2017
A national trend in favor of so-called “soda tax” initiatives took a hit Tuesday when Santa Fe voters soundly rejected a proposed 2-cents-per-ounce tax on the distributors of sugar-sweetened beverages in a special election unlike anything New Mexico’s capital city has seen before.

Sugar Tax Fails
May 2, 2017
A proposed 2-cents-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks distributed in Santa Fe left a sour taste in the mouths of voters as they rejected the plan by a wide margin.

Inequitable Tax for Pre K
April 28, 2017
It's not fair that myself, like the mayor, who don't buy those drinks will not contribute to the Pre-K, but thousands of poor and working families and children who can least afford it will be saddled with this tax burden indefinitely.

County treasurer says beverage tax ‘lose-lose’
April 28, 2017
It makes no sense that Santa Fe, the most expensive city in New Mexico, which is one of the poorest states in the country, wants to impose one of the highest taxes ever that will hurt primarily poor and working families.

No on the tax on sugary drinks
April 28, 2017
In the final analysis, the proposed tax is just too high – $1.44 on a six pack – and extends to ridiculous proportions in some cases.

Smith’s votes no
April 28, 2017
Our “vote no” position on the sugar tax is because no single food should be subjected to an arbitrary tax. Such a tax is an easy yet unfair way to find additional revenue...

Opposing soda tax
April 28, 2017
It’s important to think about this tax within a larger context of other taxes and the increasing cost of living. Mayor JavierGonzales’ proposal would add to poor Santa Feans’ already-rising tax burden.

Not sustainable funding
April 28, 2017
The proposed beverage tax in Santa Fe is a regressive tax that will hurt the poor and small businesses the most.

A better way
April 28, 2017
The coming referendum on this issue is a needless exercise in wasting tax dollars and lack of imagination.

Santa Fe New Mexican - Letter to the Editor
April 28, 2017
If passed, this tax would have devastating effects on our business and countless others in Santa Fe.

Former Gov. Apodaca joins soda tax opponents
April 27, 2017
“I just don’t think it’s necessary,” Apodaca, 82, said in a brief telephone interview Thursday.

From the Office of former Governor Jerry Apodaca, D-NM
April 27, 2017
I've been around government almost my entire adult life and I've learned that you prioritize issues such as pre-k in your budget. As a policy maker you put your money where your mouth is and you find the funds in your budget. What you never do is go back to hard working tax payers when you have a surplus. That is irresponsible.

New Mexico delves into soda tax fight
April 27, 2017
The proposal is being decided as working parents living just above poverty in Santa Fe struggle to pay the market rate for child care, despite the city's $11 minimum wage.

Weighing the Sugar Tax
April 26, 2016
I think it’s ill-considered either as a health program or as a tax. … It’s so regressive. It will completely fall on lower-income Santa Feans.

April 25, 2017
Over the past few months our city has been engaged in a vigorous debate over the proposed tax on beverages to fund Pre-K programs for our city’s children.

From A Tax Pro
April 26, 2017
This tax ... is going to push those families deeper into poverty and make it harder for them to pay their bills. This tax is not equal.

Soda tax is the wrong way to fund pre-K
April 21, 2017
This is not a “small tax.” This is a significant tax that will more than double the price of some beverages.

Not worth the pain or price
April 21, 2017
Mayor Javier Gonzales’ sugary-beverage tax is just another sin tax.

Be sweet. Vote no.
April 21, 2017
I am against the tax on sugary drinks. The assessment proposed on distributors will surely be passed on to consumers.

Pre-K nonsense
April 21, 2017
My household doesn’t buy soda, but we do buy a lot of lemonade, punch and iced tea, which could all be subject to the sugar tax.

Fr. Adam: Vote no on 'politically motivated' soda tax
April 19, 2017
One of the most respected faith leaders in Santa Fe is urging a no vote on Mayor Javier Gonzales' proposed tax on sodas and other sugary beverages to fund early childhood education programs in the city.

Parents, not tax, the answer
April 19, 2017
A similar tax was imposed in Philadelphia of 1.5 cents-per-ounce of sweetened beverages. reports that one of the city's largest beverage distributors is planning layoffs and grocery stores across the city are also planning to shed jobs to make up for declining sales.

Santa Fe New Mexican - Letter to the Editor
April 18, 2017
Mayor Javier Gonzales, since I’ve stopped drinking soda and support early childhood education, my inclination would be to vote for the soda tax. However, when I consider two important facts about city government, my vote will be no.

Intrusive sin tax
April 17, 2017
I urge all Santa Fe voters to vote against the proposed sugary-drink tax. It meddles in the lives of hopefully still free people. It is not the city’s business to control what free citizens eat or drink.

Can’t deliver
April 13, 2017
I am a fitness professional and do not approve of sugared beverages. I strongly support pre-K and education. I do not support the soda tax. This is just a way for the city of Santa Fe to create another slush fund.

Santa Fe New Mexican - Letter to the Editor
April 11, 2017
The special election is about whether Mayor Javier Gonzales and City Hall are competent enough to spend more than $7 million a year on early childhood education, a program in which the city has zero experience.

Don’t change us
April 11, 2017
A free electorate and free market should be left to determine for itself what is to be consumed. Why waste legislative effort on unconstitutionally impinging the people’s very dietary behavior?

My View: Opposing sugar tax while supporting pre-K makes sense
April 8, 2017
I support pre-K education. Children’s brains are developing at a phenomenal rate, especially during the first three years... However, I am opposed to funding it with a sugar tax.

Soda tax plan may be high in empty promises
April 7, 2017
If you go by the label, a city of Santa Fe plan might sound like a sweet deal – charge a tax on sugary soft drinks and pour the money raised into early education programs that could help boost children’s chances for success in today’s world. Unfortunately, the list of ingredients is seriously lacking and could deliver as many empty promises as a sugary soda delivers empty calories.

Yes, America once had a national soda tax
April 6, 2017
Contrary to the claims of advocates, America’s first soda tax was not a success. Soda taxes are much in the news of late, as lawmakers around the nation debate the newly popular policy tool as a means of ramping up revenue and cutting soda consumption.

Use surplus for pre-K
April 3, 2017
The city of Santa Fe says it has a $15 million budget surplus (“Expecting surplus, city looks to increase spending,” March 29) for the upcoming fiscal year and that it believes this surplus to be sustainable from revenues from current taxes. If this is true, why does it need the soda tax to raise millions per year to fund its proposed pre-K initiative?

Soda tax opponents call on city to use $15.5 million budget surplus to fund pre-K
March 29, 2017
Opponents of a proposed tax on sugary beverages to fund early childhood education programs in Santa Fe have long argued that there’s a better way to fund Mayor Javier Gonzales’ initiative.

Absentee voting begins for sugary-drink tax
March 27, 2017
Absentee voting in Santa Fe’s May 2 municipal election begins Tuesday. The ballot contains only one question: Whether the city should impose a 2-cents-per-ounce excise tax on sodas and other sugary beverages to fund early childhood education programs. Absentee ballots may be cast in person until 5 p.m. April 28 at the Santa Fe City Clerk’s Office during regular business hours Monday through Friday.

Reader’s View: Soda tax is example of a rush-to-feel-righteous
March 25, 2017
Mayor Javier Gonzales’ soda tax proposal is a perfect example of a rush to feel righteous that has multiple unintended consequences (“Questions, battle lines confront sugary-drinks tax,” Feb. 28). First, looking at the history of such proposals it has severe problems. In Philadelphia sales of such soda drinks in the city dropped 50 percent. Thus funding for the projects to be supported by the tax was cut in half which made many of the projects insolvent. This is likely to happen here.

Albuquerque Journal: ‘Soda tax’ stakes escalate in pivotal Philadelphia fight
March 17, 2017
Less than three months into Philadelphia’s new tax on sweetened drinks, the stakes have escalated: Beverage makers say the measure is hurting sales so much they need to cut jobs, while city officials say the moves are a ploy to get the tax struck down.

Tax Foundation: The Case Against Soda Taxes
March 15, 2017
Soda taxes are being sold as a fix for some pretty big problems: everything from obesity to education funding, and everywhere from San Francisco to Philadelphia to West Virginia. Could these sin taxes really deliver on these promises? Or are proponents glossing over key flaws of these proposals? Our research has generally concluded that soda taxes are narrow, punitive taxes that are a budget risk not likely to solve America’s health issues.

Financial Buzz: US Hispanic Chamber Of Commerce Bitter On Sugary Drink Tax
March 10, 2017
he mayor's endorsement of proposed tax on sugary drinks have not been embraced by US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC). Javier Palomarez, the CEO and president of the national organization, wrote in an editorial piece that his group is firmly against any kind of tax which impedes the growth of the economy. Such a tax will also lead to an environment hostile to small businesses. He went further on to add that the organization categorically disapproves of any regressive taxes which hurt communities subsisting on lower incomes.

Albuquerque Journal: Soda tax journey may be tough
March 10, 2017
Get ready to rumble. With the mayor and City Council deciding late Wednesday night to put a soda tax before Santa Fe voters in a special election on May 2, we probably should get ready for a campaign like the City Different has never seen.

US News: Voters to Decide on Santa Fe Soda Tax Proposal
March 9, 2017
Santa Fe will hold a special election to allow voters to decide whether the city should impose a tax on sugary drinks to fund early childhood education programs.

Albuquerque Journal: Sugar tax: A killer of jobs and choice
March 9, 2017
As president and CEO of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), I have the privilege of representing 4.2 million Hispanic-owned businesses that together contribute $668 billion to our American economy every year. We also advocate on behalf of over 260 major U.S. corporations. We do this through our network of over 200 local chambers of commerce and business associations nationwide.

Santa Fe Reporter: Morning Word: It's Soda Season
March 9, 2017
Santa Fe Council Schedules Sugary Slugfest. With the clock itching to strike midnight, the outcome of the vote long since known and the last public comment complete, the Santa Fe City Council voted 8-1 to let voters decide on a two-cents-an-ounce tax on sugary beverages. The money would go into a special fund and would provide grants to serve roughly 1,000 3- and 4-year-olds through early childhood education programs. The special election, which will cost somewhere around $90,000, will be May 2. Get ready for soda season.

Santa Fe New Mexican: Money, words to flow ahead of vote on sugary-drinks tax
March 9, 2017
Supporters of taxing sugary beverages to fund preschool programs in Santa Fe are gearing up for an aggressive and expensive battle with the soda industry leading up to a May 2 special election.

Santa Fe New Mexican: Soda tax goes to voters May 2
March 8, 2017
“After more than three hours of testimony at a public hearing that drew hundreds to City Hall, the Santa Fe City Council late Wednesday decided to ask voters this spring whether the city should impose a tax on sugary beverages to generate funds for early childhood education programs. With Councilor Ron Trujillo dissenting, the mayor and council majority adopted a series of last-minute amendments before finally voting to schedule a special election for May 2.”

KRQE News: Councilors vote to put proposed soda-tax on Santa ballot
March 8, 2017
“One thing both sides agreed on was the need to provide a quality education for pre-k students. In the past, the Coca-Cola bottling company of Santa Fe has said that it would have to close its doors if the tax were to go through. That measure will now be on the ballot come May 2nd during a special election.”

Albuquerque Journal: Santa Fe council votes to put soda tax for pre-K program before voters
March 8, 2017
Voters in the city of Santa Fe will decide whether to impose a 2-cent-per ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages to fund early childhood education programs at a special election on May 2. The vote of the councilors and Mayor Javier Gonzales to put the measure on the ballot was 8-1, with Councilor Ron Trujillo casting the lone no vote. Gonzales has been the prime sponsor of the plan.

CNBC: Chicago in spotlight next as Philadelphia tax hits soda sales hard
March 6, 2017
Philadelphia's recent soda tax has led to a disastrous decline in soft-drink sales, according to the beverage industry. According to sources, Philadelphia supermarkets have seen Coca-Cola sales volumes fall 30 percent to 50 percent. As a result, many are cutting shelf space for beverages like soft drinks, teas and juices by as much as 50 percent.

The New York Post: Philly’s soda tax is crushing the city’s beverage business
March 5, 2017
“If you live in Philadelphia, that bloated feeling you get from consuming carbonated beverages may be coming from the soda price itself. Last summer, the city passed a Bloomberg-esque 1.5 cent per ounce tax on soda and other sweetened and diet beverages, a move opposed by beverage distributors and retailers.”

Santa Fe New Mexican: Letters to the Editor
March 4, 2017
I consume sugary drinks and sodas. I have enjoyed them all of my life. I keep a supply on hand for guests and parties. They are not cigarettes or alcohol. They do not foul the air around us when consumed.

Santa Fe New Mexican: A CITY DIVIDED OVER TAXATION- Sweetened-drink tax debate hangs over City Council vote
March 4, 2017
Ernesto Mendoza sat behind the controls of a forklift at the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Santa Fe, moving crates of sugary drinks for delivery to restaurants, grocery stores and other businesses across Northern New Mexico.

Santa Fe New Mexican: Common Beverage Tax Questions Answered
March 4, 2017
“On Wednesday, the City Council will consider a proposal by Mayor Javier Gonzales to impose a 2-cents-per-ounce tax on sugary beverages such as Cokes and Starbucks Frappuccinos to fund early childhood education programs in Santa Fe. Some Santa Feans still have questions about the proposed tax, so we asked the mayor’s office to answer some common questions.”

The Washington Times: Nanny state strikes again: Soda tax making a comeback, putting Americans out of work
March 3, 2017
“The implementation of the taxes may be swift but not without fallout. Earlier this week, Pepsi said it was laying off as many as 100 workers at three of its distribution plants in Philadelphia area because of the 40 percent drop-off in sales, which it attributed to the tax.”