Santa Fe leaders speak out about ‘no’ vote for soda tax

FILE - This Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014, file photo, shows soft drinks for sale at K & D Market in San Francisco. San Francisco officials are deciding whether to impose a warning on ads for soda pop. Supporters and opponents say San Francisco would be the first place in the country to require warnings on ads for soda, which is linked to rotting teeth and obesity. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Leaders are speaking out about the “no” vote for Santa Fe’s proposed soda tax.

Close to 20,000 Santa Fe residents turned out to weigh in. About 58-percent of them voted against the tax, which would have tacked on two-cents to every ounce of a sugary beverage to pay for early childhood education.

This was one hot-button issue for Santa Feans.

The turnout said it all — more voters than the 2014 mayoral race and the last special election.

Now, city leaders on both sides of the issue are calling for unity.

Santa Fe City Councilor Ron Trujillo has been very outspoken against the tax, even appearing in a commercial pushing people to vote “no”.

“I do believe the city, the state, the county and school boards should come together and have that conversation. If this is really an issue that wants to be addressed in this community, there has to be a conversation and that conversation has to be with everyone,” Trujillo explained.

Now that voters have spoken, Trujillo is calling for cooperation, and so is the man who proposed the tax.

Mayor Gonzales released this statement Tuesday night:

“If one thing was clear in this debate, it is that there is overwhelming support for finding a way to make sure every child in Santa Fe and in New Mexico can go as far as their dreams will take them. We may not all agree on how we get there, but that’s okay, that’s how it’s supposed to work.  Now we get back to work, knowing that we have far more in common that the things that have long divided us.”

Councilor Trujillo is now urging state leaders to work together to find a solution.

Gov. Susana Martinez also commented on the soda vote results in a response saying, “The results send a clear message: even in arguably the most liberal city in the state, New Mexicans don’t have the appetite to pay higher taxes… Hopefully, legislatures heard this message.”

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