Earlier this week, The Daily Herald and The Associated Press reported that a statewide initiative is ramping up that would ban cities and counties in Washington from placing their own taxes on soda and other sugary drinks. The announcement of this plan to prevent local governments from imposing these kinds of taxes comes just a few months after a soda tax officially went into effect in Seattle.
Originally approved by the Seattle City Council by a vote of 7-1 in June of 2017, the new tax adds a cost of 1.75 cents per ounce on a variety of drinks such as soda, energy drinks, sports drinks, and more. The tax will officially be paid by distributors, but they will be passing on the added cost to consumers.
Ever since the soda tax in Seattle was rolled out, shoppers have been shocked to see how much the sugary drink tax has actually changed the price of their favorite drinks in the city. Back in January, a photo that was being circulated on social media from a Seattle Costco showed that a case of Gatorade that originally cost $15.99 now costs $26.33, an increase of $10.34 because of the new tax.
After Seattle passed the tax on sugary drinks, many citizens across Washington were concerned that their cities and counties would start imposing similar taxes. Thankfully, Washingtonians will likely get the change to vote on an initiative in the fall that would “bar cities and counties in Washington state from imposing their own taxes on sodas or other sweetened beverages.” Businesses and citizens across Washington are joining together to prevent sugary drink taxes from being imposed in their communities after seeing the impact that the tax is having on consumers in Seattle.