Seattle Follows San Francisco, Philadelphia In Passing Job-Killing Soda Tax

Tyler Durden's picture

Following in the footsteps of Boulder, Philadelphia, Oakland and San Francisco, Seattle has approved its own version of a job-killing soda tax.

In a 7-1 vote with one councilmember absent, the Seattle City Council passed the tax on soda distributors by an overwhelming margin. The council ultimately agreed on a tax rate of $1.75 per ounce, which translates to about $1.18 for a 2-litre bottle of soda. Unless opponents of the measure succeed in blocking it, the tax will be collected beginning next year, the Seattle Times reported.

A coalition involving restaurant owners, grocery owners and the local chamber of commerce opposed the bill, which was backed by the American Heart Association. One grocery owner was quoted in The Seattle Times discussing how the tax would hurt his business. Husik Harutyunyan, who owns a small grocery store in North Seattle, urged the council to reject the tax. He said his customers may begin buying soda in Shoreline, Wash. if the tax leads him to raise his prices.

“I have to close my store and go find some job,” the 44-year-old told the Seattle Times.

Diet soda won’t be taxed, while baby formula, medicine, weight-loss drinks and 100% fruit juice will also be exempt. Sports drinks like Gatorade, energy drinks like Red Bull and fruit drinks like Sunny D will all be taxed, along with the syrups used in fountain soda. It remains unclear whether the tax will apply to the syrups used in flavored lattes like those served at Starbucks, the Times reported.

The council will use the revenues from the tax - about $15 million a year – to help fund healthful-eating programs like “Fresh Bucks,” which will help people with food stamps buy more healthy food. The council will also disburse funds to soup kitchens and food pantries. Anti-obesity advocates rejoiced after the measure was passed. “It’s a huge win for Seattle,” said Victor Colman, director of the Seattle-based Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition.

“It’s not a panacea for the problem of childhood obesity, but it’s a huge marker to take this step. Consumption drops will happen, and we’re going to see stronger health in the communities that need this the most.”

The tax, initially proposed by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, was debated for months after some labor unions warned that the plan would be a burden for entrepreneurs and result in job losses. But luckily for the supermarket employees and teamsters who will lose their jobs because of this tax, the council has set aside some of the revenues for job retraining programs.

As the receipt below shows, a 10 pack of flavored water purchased in Philadelphia carries a 51% beverage tax. And since PA has a sales tax of 6% and Philly already charges another 2%, the total sales tax was 8%. In other words, a purchase which until last year came to $6.47 had overnight become $9.75.

The dramatic price increase led to a 30% to 50% drop in beverage sales, forcing supermarkets and beverage distributors to lay off some staff.

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BrianZeroHedge's picture

Let's see if the Mayor follows the Philly playbook on blaming businesses once the huge dropoff of sales occur.

lil dirtball's picture

'Soft drinks' and everything associated with them - from unions to pro sports to fat people - could slide off the earth and the world would be a better place.

Dusty Rhodes' Muffler's picture

I gave up soda years ago, but I think this is a retard tax...

truthseeker47's picture

I do not drink soda either, but this tax only verifies where the idiot control freaks are in control.  On the other hand, the victims have only themselves to blame for electing them.  They deserve this.

man of Wool's picture

Soda rots your teeth and makes you fat.less of it being drunk will be good for the nations health.

Boris Gudonov's picture

Liquor is worse.  Are you neo-puritans going to go after that next?


Nanny state asshole.


Curiously_Crazy's picture


Liquor has been taxed since day dot.

Tall Tom's picture



I stand at 6' 7" and weigh in at 180 lbs. I drink 3 to 4 liters of Mountain Dew...per day...every day.


Come on over to my home and call me my face.


Thomas O'Brien

12223B Woodside Ave

Lakeside, Ca USA


People are fat because they overeat fatty foods.


They are gluttons who sit on their ass and warch TeeVee as the styff their faces instead of exercising.


The "one size fits all"' mentality if SOCIALISM does not work as we are a Nation of INDIVIDUALS with different desires and needs.


Looking forward to your visit you fucking socialist

SheHunter's picture

You tell 'em!

I'm no Mountain Dew fan but you nailed it.  I drink 2 or 3 good brews a day, eat what I want and when I want.  But I also am mega active every day.  No vegging and no butt atrophy.  The government selectivly singling out the soda companies is asinine.  How many calories in a triple mocha Starbucks latte?  Oh wait... we can't punish Schultz.  He's a revered Jew who likely will be on the dem prez platform before long.

nufio's picture

what if thats not really you but your personal trainer?

Tall Tom's picture




Uh. I have no need for a personal trainer.


My sensei taught me well enough decades ago.

P'Od_Accountant's picture

Somebody is gonna show up at your door and it aint gonna be pretty.

Abbie Normal's picture

So you live in the check-cashing liquor store, or just behind it?

chrsn's picture
Many things rot your teeth and make you fat.  One thing is for sure: these taxes will have a disproportionately large effect on the poor.  Congratulations.
Twaddlefree's picture

But, the poor already get food stamps to buy the soda, along with other taxpayer funded goodies. It's just rearranging the money...all of it coming out of someone ELSE's pockets.

P'Od_Accountant's picture

So what?  They don't have to buy it.  If they poor and they are wasting the precious few dollars they have buying a soda they are fucking idiots in the first place.  Tax them.

Jeffersonian Liberal's picture

Spoken like a true member of the Hitler Youth brigade.

insidious's picture

I live in Seattle. I came here because it's a beautiful place with with incredible outdoors opportunities - which I have enjoyed for many years. I stay because my kids and my wife's mother live here. It is insanely liberal and outrageously expensive. The people in power are about as far left as you can get and still be in the 48 states.

gregga777's picture

That's why many in Eastern Washington want to secede and form a separate state.  If they do I might move back to Washington.  Until then, no way.



VZ58's picture

Seattle has taken all the worst from Portland and Vancouver,Canada and is rapidly becoming a meca for the retarded Left like those cities.

Jeffersonian Liberal's picture

And only because they have the luxury finances that Boeing, Microsoft, and a host of other 'greedy, capitalist' corporations provide them.

chrsn's picture

Michael Bloomberg approves of this

HRH Feant2's picture

These people drank the communist koolaid and will end up being sacrificed. Utter insanity.

Boris Gudonov's picture

These fucking liberal assholes want to tax soda but want to make pot legal?

Fucking liberal asshole retards.


silverer's picture

Well, they tax pot. They reason that pot doesn't make you fat. But in fact, it also doesn't make you extremely likely to jump out your chair and work hard for eight hours, either. That's a job for methamphetamine. That will be introduced next because they can tax it.

truthseeker47's picture

Tyler your tax math is completely wrong.  You need a proofreader.

merizobeach's picture

"The council ultimately agreed on a tax rate of $1.75 per ounce, which translates to about $1.18 for a 2-litre bottle of soda."

Does this have something to do with why the old math questions required before commenting were eliminated?

Ok, it's easy enough to see that it is meant to say 1.75 cents per ounce, but is the writer really and necessarily in such a hurry to post the article that he can't read what he's typed even once before he hits submit?

PitBullsRule's picture

Yeah you're killing all the doctors and dentists jobs!  No more rotten teeth and Type 2 diabetes!  Give Coke a break man!

Boris Gudonov's picture

Another fucking nanny state asshole who thinks he knows better how to run other peoples' lives.


Go fuck yourself you liberal cunt.


PitBullsRule's picture

Some peoples lives need to be run.  If that weren't the case, we wouldn't have all the homeless and the drug addicts and the jail birds.  Which one are you?  Or are you just a Commie prick?

The Billy Blaze's picture


The people you mention actually ARE running their lives; albeit terribly.  You imply that WE should run other's lives.  Who the heck is WE?  You need to take that socialist shit somewhere else bro.  Individualism isn't communism. 

VZ58's picture

You are wasting your time. Socialists are the true fascist control freaks. Always have been and always will be.

adr's picture

The snowflakes and social justice warriors will never tax the Frappuccinos that make a Pepsi look like a diet drink.  

A 24oz Venti Caramel Macciato Frappuccino has 510 calories, 17 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 65mg of cholesterol, 320mg of sodium, and 85 grams of sugar. That's if you believe they use the proper amount of coffee. 

But yeah, soft drinks are the problem. If they instituted a Frappe Tax all hell would break loose. Hipsters would lose their heads. 

The average millenial sucks down a dozen Frappuccinos a week. 

Make_Mine_A_Double's picture

Bang on the money - STBX is more responsible now for teen obesity than Mc D or soda.

The Billy Blaze's picture

The Ordinance is very clear insomuch as coffee is defined as a "Sweetened Beverage".  The tax will apply.

VZ58's picture

This! Complete hypocrisy. Starbucks is one of the biggest contributors to Type II diabetes in the world with all their high glucose/fructose laden syrups. But Schultzie is one of them, so no tax on his crap. \this will change nothing. 

gregga777's picture

More socialist/Liberal lunacy.  It will probably provide a huge boost to Costco sales because their stores are located in places outside Seattle like Kirkland, Tukwila, Redmond, etc.  People will be incentivized to drive outside Seattle to stockup on soft drinks.  It might even encourage an illegal black market by small entrepreneurs dealing in sugary drinks like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, etc.  



Xando's picture

Soda pop ruined today, what's next? What will be the next victim of progressive caprice?

Crusader75's picture

How much do you weigh?

Tall Tom's picture




i don't know why you are being junked as you are correct in revealing your socialist plans. I do not think that Governments need to do this.


The BMI would be more accurate. the tax will be assessed to cover future extra health care expense as insurance companies will not have the ability to assess greater risk premiums due to pre existing conditions.


That is due to the consequences of Obamacare...still in force.


Government needs to not be providing Health Care.


Shay216420's picture

I weigh 120 and I'm drinking a triple venti caramel macchiato with triple caramel and a large coke on the side. Fuck you asshole.

Crusader75's picture

Sugar is an addictive poison, like nicotine and tobacco, and kills far more Americans: why shouldn't we tax it to reduce its consumption, the obese are costing taxpayers hundreds of billions if not trillions. Wake up, fatsos.

Boris Gudonov's picture

Fuck you you liberal asshole cunt.


silverer's picture

I don't see how diet foods have helped at all in the US. People get fatter every year. More good would be done if people had to walk three miles to the grocery store instead of putting their lazy ass in a $60,000 Suburban with leather seats they couldn't afford in the first place.

sinbad2's picture

Exactly it's all about input and output. Olympic athletes eat a staggering amount of food, but they need to, because they work their bodies hard.

Fat people usually sit on their arses all day.

PrivetHedge's picture

Diet food makes people fatter, it's a fact.

The flavour enhancers trick the brain but not the body, and the body demands more food...

MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture


sinbad2's picture

Just kill the fat people.

Tall Tom's picture



Let fat people die as they made their choice. Killing people is immoral.