Seattle Wants To Raise Soda Tax 8 Times Higher Than Beer
It was tried and rejected in Santa Fe, New Mexico, but now Seattle Mayor Ed Murray wants to tax soda at a rate 8 times higher than beer.
His proposal, according to news sources including the Washington Policy Center, would propose a $1.75 cent per ounce tax on soda, including diet drinks as well.
For a typical 12 ounce can of soda, this would amount to a price increase of $.21 cents...per can!
His rationale for the idea? It will supposedly raise funds to pay for education programs that would help minorities, especially blacks, benefit from increased learning opportunities. His plan didn't originally include diet soda, but because supposedly more affluent people drink more diet beverages, they were added.
But ironically, according to data produced by the Mayor's own office, lower-income minorities consume higher levels of soda than others, so this tax would actually be taking more of their income.
Murray believes this measure would address what he calls inequality in education and opportunity. Even the Wall Street Journal criticized the idea, pointing out that similar laws in Philadelphia have resulted in beverage company job layoffs and cutbacks.
Some experts say it's possible soda retailers, bottlers and other wholesalers would look to relocate to other areas in King County, leaving Seattle with dwindling tax revenue.
The Washington Policy Center says the only winners in this proposal will be businesses who would sell sodas without the 'super tax' just outside the Seattle city limits.