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Michigan House OKs ban on local food, beverage taxes

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Legislation continues to advance in Michigan to ban local taxes on food, beverages and gum.

The state House approved the bill on a 101-7 vote Thursday, a day after the Senate passed an identical measure.

No local government in Michigan is now considering such a tax on soda and other sugary and artificially sweetened items. But lawmakers say ordinances have been approved in other states, and they want to make a pre-emptive strike.

The earliest the Legislature could finalize the legislation is next week.

A coalition that includes farmers, grocers, food banks and a labor union is backing the bill. It says beverages taxes in the Chicago area and Philadelphia have driven up prices and “killed hundreds of jobs.”

Health groups and local governments oppose the legislation.

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