VIDEO: Lisa Herbold lone ‘no’ vote as City Council passes beverage tax

(Seattle Channel video of this afternoon’s meeting, with public comment starting 14 minutes in, bill consideration 58 minutes in)

West Seattle/South Park City Councilmember Lisa Herbold was the only “no” vote this afternoon as the council passed the so-called “sugary beverages” tax – officially known as an ordinance “imposing a tax on engaging in the business of distributing sweetened beverages.” Herbold said she isn’t opposed to the concept of the tax but today she tried again to lower it and expand its scope – and again, like last Friday, she couldn’t get a majority of the rest of the council to go along with her. The tax was originally proposed by Mayor Ed Murray, who plans to sign it at a ceremony tomorrow morning. It won final approval 7-1 (Councilmember Kshama Sawant, who voted against it in committee last week along with Herbold, was absent).

THE DETAILS: According to council staff via Twitter, the bill would tax distributors at one and three-quarters cents per beverage ounce for those with $5 million+ income, one cent per beverage ounce for $2 million-$5 million income, those with income under $2 million exempt. But spokesperson Dana Robinson Slote says the full text of the bill “won’t be official until tomorrow morning, when all amendments are integrated by staff.”

31 Replies to "VIDEO: Lisa Herbold lone 'no' vote as City Council passes beverage tax"

  • OverSeattle June 5, 2017 (6:42 pm)

    Cool so I will buy all of my sugary beverages in burien and white center great job passing this rediculous tax. Another reason why I’m over this place the tax increases with this mayor have done nothing but take money from middle and working class. If your rich, homeless or criminal it’s great. Not one thing has been done to improve middle or working class lives

    • JanS June 5, 2017 (8:56 pm)

      the homeless have it made? Seriously? What world is that? Is it something you aspire to, so you can have it made, too?

  • West Seattle Hipster June 5, 2017 (7:17 pm)

    Tax coffee!

  • dsa June 5, 2017 (7:27 pm)

    Lisa saved her bacon on this vote for now.  I’m not positive there actually will be a difference between diet and sugar drinks at the grocery though.  The catch is that the tax has to be paid, but if I understand it correctly it’s not at the consumer level.  So to keep it simple every consumer probably will pay by jacking up the price some.

  • M June 5, 2017 (7:35 pm)

    Finally a tax I can support. And of course Lisa Horrible is again on the wrong side of common sense. 

    • ImmaMom June 5, 2017 (8:41 pm)

      M- agreed x 2!!

    • JanS June 5, 2017 (9:02 pm)

      M…did you even read the article?  “Herbold said she isn’t opposed to the concept of the tax but today she tried again to lower it and expand its scope – and again, like last Friday, she couldn’t get a majority of the rest of the council to go along with her. ” In other words, she tried to lower the tax…what part of that is on the wrong side?

      I’m not against paying more for these beverages. Yes, I drink them  at times, and yes, I know that I shouldn’t. For now, I’m sticking with water…and tea, unsweetened…oh, and the occasional cuppa coffee….

      don’t want to pay this tax? Don’t buy the product…you’re an adult, and you have  choices…no one has you in a headlock making you buy coke/pepsi/fill in the blank. None of us need it to sustain life. Your complaining is disingenuous…good grief !

    • Just June 5, 2017 (10:09 pm)

      Your comment is horrible, have some grace and disagree without name calling.

  • aimless blade June 5, 2017 (8:27 pm)

    Stop regressive taxation.

    Income tax now!

  • New Thinking Needed June 5, 2017 (9:03 pm)

    Another boondoggle tax like the Democracy vouchers that aren’t working so well for the regular person who wants to run for public office.  Sugary drinks are a choice like other beverages — many of which are not healthy.  I will vote to repeal if this makes it on the ballot.

  • Toyourhealth June 5, 2017 (11:11 pm)

    Too much sugary drinks make you fat. 

    Too much nutrasweet gives you seizures and cancer.  (Read the label!)

    Stop the sugary drinks, lose the fat. 

    Stop nutrasweet, do I lose the cancer? No!? Well, I guess I’ll just keep drinking diet sodas. Thanks Seattle CC, for making my tumors so affordable!

  • Dr. Bob June 5, 2017 (11:22 pm)

    But SBUX goes unscathed?

    SBUX could change their name to Milk and Sugar and properly represent what is actually being sold. 

    What about cupcakes? Ice cream? Candy?

    But of course,  the city is very evolved in its progressive self- importance. What a laugh. 

    • ts June 6, 2017 (12:28 am)

      I agree. Just fyi, saw on the news where the tax will hit Starbucks drinks but it still being worked out as far as which ones.

  • M June 6, 2017 (5:08 am)

    I just watched the movie “that Sugar Film” that is free on Amazon Prime yesterday and it certainly woke me up to what sugar is doing to us as a society. I’m all for this tax. I view it as another sin tax. If one wants to smoke, drink alcohol, or eat a high sugar diet it is their absolute ride. However, perhaps they should pay some additional taxes to compensate for the additional societal cost of those decisions. 

    What is regressive about it? Our lowest income communities drink a higher per capita amount of sugary drinks. Anything that might help an already disadvantaged population in our community make healthier choices seems like a real positive to me. 

    • Nick June 6, 2017 (6:29 am)

      Yea it will help nothing except taxing you more the tax goes to promote healthy eating which will be ineffective and most of the tax money will go to overhead for program management. This tax is dumb nanny state crap and there is no clear need for this. Also this will hurt local business as people will go to surrounding cities that don’t have this tax anyway

    • Canton June 6, 2017 (8:31 am)

      How do you feel you have the right to decide how OTHER people run their lives? How about you just worry about the people you do know.

      • Lisa June 6, 2017 (2:50 pm)

        When other people’s choices increase our health insurance costs, we have the right to speak up.

        • Woohoo June 8, 2017 (12:06 am)

          Oh Boy! Get ready for a HUGE refund from Premera, as this tax drives down the cost of Health Insurance!!!

          So long, Sodie-Pop! Hello 67″ TV!!

          oh YEAH!

  • Joel June 6, 2017 (7:13 am)

    Burien is around the corner and a plastic baggie too for the cat litter – win/win.

  • Ivan Weiss June 6, 2017 (8:32 am)

    At least one candidate for Mayor of Seattle opposes this tax:

    Senator Bob Hasegawa stated:

    “The worst thing about this tax gets right to the heart of why I’m running for mayor. This tax is regressive and punitive. If we are going to have a city, and a society, that values equity, we will have to break the cycle of regressive taxation. Regressive taxation is the one overriding fact of life that holds this state back from better schools, cleaner air and water, better public health and public safety, better transportation, and more equity of opportunity for those who aren’t at the top of the economic ladder.

    How many more regressive taxes can we handle? Why should we handle even one more? If the state’s tax system forces us to raise revenue with a regressive tax for something really urgent, some emergency situation, that’s one thing. But this isn’t it. This soda tax does nothing for public health. It just slaps a band-aid on the problem when the tax system in this state needs major surgery. Worse yet, poorer people would bear the brunt of the added taxes, while they’re being told to “change their behavior.”

    I stand with working folks, hundreds of restaurant and small business owners, Teamsters Joint Council 28, and the Martin Luther King County Labor Council, in opposing this tax.”

  • badwolf June 6, 2017 (8:41 am)

    another anti business, we know what is best for you tax!

    Clown town at its best! 

  • Andy June 6, 2017 (9:03 am)

    I’m sure glad the city council knows what I should or should not be allowed to drink without putting a sin tax on it. What? Kshama Sawant voted against it? That’s the first time she and I have ever agreed on anything. I will do the same thing I do when I want to buy some ammunition for my legally owned pistol. I will drive to Bellevue where there is still some semblance of sanity left among their political leadership.

  • Tong June 6, 2017 (10:31 am)

    Thank you Lisa! Glad West Seattle rep is taking a stand against the TAX for everything crazy local government…

  • West Seattle Hipster June 6, 2017 (11:34 am)

    Thank you Councilmember Herbold for your vote.  There are other areas the city could raise money (tax latte’s?) and this is a tax that will tax lower income people instead of higher earners.

    And the tax is not for health reasons.  As long as there are safe injection sites for heroin addicts, our health is not local government’s concern, only our wallets. 

    • Double Dub Resident June 8, 2017 (4:30 pm)

      In what world is this a regressive tax? In the world of entitlement? How does this tax, tax the poor and not the rich, or the middle class for that matter? 

      Just because there may be a large population of poor people drinking this garbage doesn’t make it regressive. People have a choice whether to drink this stuff or not. People do not need to drink this junk to live. 

      This kind of reminds me of the lady at a supermarket deli I was standing behind the other day. She was trying to convince the employee to give her an extra chicken wing. The employee said she couldn’t do that, so the woman started trying to shame the employee that 69 cents a chicken wing was way too much for their size. After at least 5 minutes of this I finally intervened and reminded the woman that she DID NOT HAVE TO BUY THEM!!! 

  • Mark June 6, 2017 (12:41 pm)

    The tax is not at all regressive, it is a choice to consume or not.  It is disingenuous to call it a regressive tax, it is use fee that can be avoided by everyone if they choose too.

    I’m disappointed that the poison diet soda was not included and that revenue raised is not being used to lower other taxes or put into a rainy day fund.

    • Bradley June 6, 2017 (7:20 pm)

      It sounds like you have no idea what a regressive tax is. The poor and working class are the ones who drink sugary drinks the most and they will continue to do so. I hope they get the grey area fixed and start taxing your coffee beverages or anything else you drink.

  • Brewmeister June 6, 2017 (3:22 pm)

    The “city” could care less about “our” health.  This is a money grab pure and simple. One they knew they could pass because it’s somewhat socially acceptable.  

    I highly doubt this will slow the sale of these types of drinks even a little.  People gotta have their Mocho Lotta Half Calf Caramel Double Espresso over ice.  And their DEW!   

  • badwolf June 7, 2017 (8:41 am)

    Dew and Cheetos  the Best! 

  • A June 7, 2017 (10:17 am)

    Are we not able to make our own decisions about drinking drinks that have sugar in them?  We need the idiots down at city council to help us decide?  Give me a break.   I don’t think those buffoons at the city council are really worried about the health of our city.  Thank god that Murray is out at the end of the year.  Hopefully- this tax will not go through- it is so ridiculous!   I think we can all make our own decisions on drinking a drink with sugar in it.  Are they taxing 100% fruit juice?  Or are they looking at what form of sugar is in the drink? Milk has sugar?  Are they looking at milkshakes?  Seriously- these people are such idiots!  If they are looking for money for schools and homelessness- perhaps  the money could of come from MM stupid spending spree on rainbow crosswalks or rent a bikes or consultants.   These mayors our city elects just get worse and worse as the years go.   When is this city going to elect someone that can lead?  

    • Matt June 8, 2017 (12:55 am)

      Agreed, whether it’s regressive or not it’s orthogonal to the core problem of the city is trying to do too much, and failing at just about everything. Personally I would like to see them focus on just what they can afford now.

      Using it for behavioral modeling is an interesting concept, but it doesn’t work… look at California. Consumer staples won’t change in pattern.

      In terms of different tax systems, my opinion aside that there should be no new taxes, do you think the local government will start releaving the taxes on property, car tabs, etc in favor of income tax? Once they have their hand in the honey pot…. 

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