On Jan. 1, 2018, a tax on thousands of everyday beverages took hold in Seattle. The staggering 1.75-cent per ounce tax caused beverage prices to skyrocket – making prices on some products soar 50 percent or more.
When the Seattle City Council passed this tax quietly in June 2017, they turned their back on neighborhood business owners and working-class families. This job-killing beverage tax drives up prices and worsens income inequality in Seattle.
Seattle residents who can least afford the tax are hurt the most. Businesses are also feeling the pain of residents heading across city lines to do their grocery shopping.
Despite the health claims used by the City Council to justify this new tax, the fact is that beverage taxes have never been shown to improve public health. The evidence is clear that these types of taxes only make people’s lives harder and their cities less livable.