Controversial Soda Tax Could Possibly Spread Statewide
On the heels of the controversial Seattle soda tax that went into effect in 2018, now a similar bill has been introduced by House Democrats that would expand this bill statewide.
The original sponsor is House Representative Marcus Ricelli, from the 3rd District in Spokane. He is a rarity, a Democrat who actually got elected in the fairly conservative city.
He told KXLY-TV in Spokane he doesn't expect it to go very far, in fact he doesn't believe it will even come to a vote or make it out of committee. But business leaders and critics say it's alarming that such a bill would even be proposed outside of Seattle or King County. While they're known for their controversial (and economically damaging) legislative moves, Critics say it's 'scary' that legislators would want to expand such a tax statewide.
Aside from the health debate over soda and sugary drinks vs. juice, water etc. the economic effects on bottlers, suppliers, vendors, stores and consumers would be enormous.
The effects of the Seattle tax are already causing a firestorm, especially when a case of Gatorade in a Seattle Costco was shown online with a price hike from $16 to $26 due to the tax.
Business leaders and officials fear the statewide tax would likely be expanded to include powders and syrups which people use in those popular soda machines to make their own beverages. The explosive growth of these home soda machines has already caught the eye of some legislators.
Seattle is going to use the money generated from the soda tax to supposedly provide meals and other benefits for low-income families, although critics say there's little written evidence to support that theory. Most believe it will end up in the general revenue coffers and be used for a wide variety of other purposes which won't benefit the general population.