MONDAY: Beverage tax goes to full City Council

One of tomorrow’s big stories will be whatever happens when the full City Council takes up the proposed “sweetened-beverage tax” at its 2 pm meeting. Our area’s City Councilmember Lisa Herbold tried last week to cut it from one and three-quarters cents per ounce to one cent per ounce, and include “diet” beverages, saying that combination would still raise more money than the higher tax without “diet” beverages. But her proposals didn’t get committee approval, and she voted “no” on the tax as currently proposed. Herbold still tried to make her case one more time in her weekly newsletter/blog post. Will any of her colleagues change their mind? We’ll likely find out tomorrow. Meantime, the Seattle City Council Insight website breaks down why the bill is being pushed toward a final vote tomorrow, days after its non-unanimous committee passage – saying it’s related to the timing of a an expected referendum if the tax passes. Here’s the agenda for tomorrow’s 2 pm meeting at City Hall, which will have a public-comment period, and will be live on Seattle Channel.

30 Replies to "MONDAY: Beverage tax goes to full City Council"

  • Canton June 4, 2017 (11:15 pm)

    Why does every tax measure use the divide and conquer strategy? How many people drink sugary drinks vs those that don’t. Lets try some early polls, and see where we can get some $$. I for one, don’t drink them much, but this is a pure money grab. Using nutrition values to increase revenue is pure bs. Do you really want the city government to decide what you can, and cannot consume? Everything we consume may or may not have some negative effects, but it should be up to us, as “free” individuals to make that distinction “ourselves”. 

    • TheKing June 5, 2017 (5:01 am)

      Maybe they will open safe spaces for us to drink our dangerous Pepsi. 

      • West Seattle Hipster June 5, 2017 (7:13 am)

        Hahahahahaha, I spit my Coke out when I read this!

        Seriously, can we add a tax to heroin sales in the city?

      • Azimuth June 5, 2017 (10:01 am)

        That’s hilarious! Nice to see Herbold with an attempt at a smart compromise. That’s going to be such a hassle to manage for businesses to have sugar sodas next to artificially sweetened ones, especially at soda fountains and such. They’re logically going to end up charging the same for both anyway and pocketing the difference so the city is losing out on that taxation.

      • JC June 5, 2017 (10:36 am)

        Best response ever!!!  LOL!!

  • Gene June 5, 2017 (5:57 am)

    Canton- city government isn’t deciding what we can/can’t consume. We can still decide that for ourselves- but will have to pay more if we choose to consume. Just like the high taxes on cigarettes & alcohol- those that choose to use those products – still can- they just pay–a lot–to do so. That said I don’t for a second believe that city government is doing this as a way to improve people’s health- it’s as you say- a pure money grab. 

  • flimflam June 5, 2017 (6:03 am)

    sorry, canton, the councilmembers know what’s best and their only concern is for your health – doesn’t it feel good knowing how much they care?

  • AMD June 5, 2017 (6:18 am)

    The current markup on sodas (you know, the one that causes 8 cents’ worth of soda syrup and CO2 to cost you $2) doesn’t seem to offend folks and that markup is just going to the company’s bottom line.  I don’t see how a smaller markup that at least goes to something useful is more offensive, and I don’t think it’s going to stop anyone from drinking soda anyway (except those who quit on “principle”).

    • Thecure June 5, 2017 (11:52 am)

      Merchants can sell products for any profit they like. This is not at all like forcing people to pay an additional amount to the city to consume a particular product. 

  • SpaceDust June 5, 2017 (7:47 am)

    Just another tax grab..

    They are going to tax your coffee drinks as well…

  • Mike June 5, 2017 (8:07 am)

    Tax Sawant for every public dollar she’s abused, there’s​ your solution.

    • WSB June 5, 2017 (8:15 am)

      She was one of the two votes against this last week.

    • newnative June 5, 2017 (9:39 am)

      What a bizarre and irrelevant statement, Mike. 

  • Villagegreen June 5, 2017 (8:29 am)

    Hahahahahaha! Roasted. I always love it when WSB steps in with facts. 

  • chemist June 5, 2017 (9:39 am)

    I wonder if this could be what finally kills the Costco $1.50 hotdog+soda combo.  $0.35 in additional taxes if a customer goes with “regular” vs “diet” at a fountain isn’t the sort of thing to just absorb on a loss leader item.

    The “Costco way” would probably just convert all their fountain soda machines to diet.

  • Thecure June 5, 2017 (11:47 am)

    Skip the empty sugar calories, but double down on artificial sweeteners which are absolutely scientifically proven to cause brain tumors and seizures. Diet sodas are one of the few consumables (besides cigarettes) required to have a warning label.   

    Hey Seattle CC, we’re all skinny now, and thanks for our new seizures and brain tumors!!

  • jack June 5, 2017 (11:54 am)

    what happens if I order a coke and rum at Saltys?

  • they June 5, 2017 (12:05 pm)

    What next… oh wait don’t answer that.

  • Mark June 5, 2017 (4:15 pm)

    Diet pop is a poison and sugar pop has zero nutritional value.  As far as I am concerned tax the heck out of these products, like cigarettes, alcohol and pot.

    My gripe is that the money is not being used to reduce other taxes, like property taxes, or put into a rainy day fund.  It may be sunny now but it will rain again

    • KM June 5, 2017 (4:42 pm)


  • West Seattle Hipster June 5, 2017 (4:43 pm)

    Can the city also tax coffee as well please?

  • Heartless? June 5, 2017 (4:49 pm)

    When are we going to put a special tax on donuts, ice cream, processed foods, and the like?  Oh, and Mark, you are entitled to your opinion but please quit forcing your views on others!

  • Heartless? June 5, 2017 (4:57 pm)

    “Freedom” sure is taking a beating lately.  A person just can’t get very much of it in a city full of nannies.

  • Rick June 5, 2017 (5:09 pm)

    Simple. Buy your soda outside of Seattle. And while you’re outside silly city limits, do ALL your shopping there too. But then again, Seattle will just probably implement a new tax to replace lost revenue for a new tax not yet collected.

  • SpaceDust June 5, 2017 (5:47 pm)

    Taxes, Taxes and more taxes…I’m taxed out with the City of Seattle.

    Time to vote these people out.

  • Mark June 5, 2017 (6:15 pm)

    Heartless my mom drank too much diet soda and now has late stage dementia, the links are showing up in the literature.  

    And no one is saying you cannot drink pop, simply pay a bit more.  Its simply another sin tax!

    I too feel the City is foisting issues I do not support that I would rather not be forced to pay taxes for.  At least with sin taxes you have a choice.

  • Heartless? June 6, 2017 (1:35 pm)

    Okay Mark, so lets find a sin tax for you, and hit you with that.  Perhaps you’ll get the point.

    And you “progressive ” supporters wonder why people vote for Trump.  Get a clue!

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