Seattle's "sugar tax"? Are these amounts real?

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    At the grocery store today I noticed door hanger style ads on a large number of 2 liter bottles of soda. I was planning on getting some cola so I bought one that had the info on it so I could do some research. What it’s claiming is that the $1 bottle of of soda I just purchased would have an additional $1.18 in taxes with this? Is that correct?

    That seems like an absurdly high tax in comparison to the price of the items. If it were around 25 cents I could see that as being high but still manageable a tax higher than the cost of the purchase itself though? That would be absurd.

    Here’s the site provided for more info on the flyer:

    Any thoughts?

    • This topic was modified 5 years, 5 months ago by J242.


    Well, for one, the proposal isn’t finalized.
    The city council might do so next Monday.
    The current proposal is one and three-quarters cents per ounce, and multiplying that by 67.6, which is what the internet tells me two liters equals, does bring the result $1.18.

    P.S. Our area’s councilmember tried to cut the tax amount and keep diet drinks in the proposal. She’s still hoping there might be changes before the final vote, as explained here.



    Mayor Durkan
    Please this is not a form letter or spam.
    * Lisa Herbold is kind of our rep.
    * Spoke with Bruce Harrells legislative asst.
    * Spoke with Sally Bagshaws asst., who was oddly interested in telling me how the legislative process works??
    This is about TAXES vs DYING PEOPLE, not Saturday School House Rock.
    PLEASE ignore the rhetoric, but I am sad and angry.
    Before you read this I would ask that you think about any person(s) you love the most….and read it from that place in your head.
    Your soda tax just ensured a more direct and painful experience for my partner who has incurable cancer and diarrhea so bad, we have to ensure he keeps his electrolytes balanced and now you have added more stress to an already heartbroken partner….or if it makes it easier, tax payer.
    I ask you to read this all the way through, but I will be honest, I need to vent, but I will be respectful (as best I can)…I just ask that you read this all the way through….PLEASE!!
    Let me state it right off the bat…been a Democrat my entire life, I have zero belief in god and I have been with my partner for 24 years, what hopefully will be, 25 years just like any other couple.
    Please keep reading…PLEASE!!
    This is me…
    • I am no saint but I believe if we all stopped and talked to one another, the decisions we make could be more thoughtful…but it’s not that way.
    • When I go out to eat, I only eat 1/2 my meals and package the other 1/2 and give it to a homeless person. They are gonna maybe eat from a trash can, so why not try to make sure its ok? And I avoid unnecessary overeating…win/win
    • I have not eaten meat and never fish for almost 30 years now…I love animals but I don’t push my belief on others. Although I hope if there is a god, he/she is an actual cow, that would be justice :)
    • I acknowledge homeless people as they are people, but I don’t randomly give my money…but I will buy you a burger
    • I will do random acts of kindness like buy $2500 annually worth of dog food from my local pet store and ask them to give them to anyone who needs the help. We have a lot of people over here who can barely take care of themselves and it bothers me their animals could suffer as well, so I just try to take the stress off. (PetPros in Westwood village)
    • And yes, I am the a**hole who reads the fine print on contracts at Apple Computer counter making others find another register. Not trying to be an a**, but if you are going to put a contract on 30 sheets of receipt paper, then I am going to read it before I sign.
    • I help random people out and ask that, at some point in their life, pay me back by doing one kind selfless thing for another person. Only they know if they will ever pay me back…but that’s not what it’s about.
    • I have lots of faults, but that’s not going to help my letter.
    My best asset though, I wake up each day and reflect on the day before and make sure to address any regrets. I am not perfect at this, however if I can at least try…then I am a better man. I don’t need to believe in a god to try and be a good person.
    Now that you have a picture of me….let me paint a picture of my partner who has been GRAVELY affected.
    • Lived here his whole life
    • Has NEVER bounced a check although he at times had no food. His bills came first because he promised to pay back debts before himself. Even in his challenged health he makes sure his bills are paid before he lays down for his frequent naps.
    • His credit score is 802
    • In his 25 years at the Seattle Times, he missed 12 days of work. Even when he had to drive from W. Seattle to Bothell he was the man you could count on …..and I have counted on him to be my friend and partner for the last 25 years.
    About 5 years ago, he was diagnosed with cancer. Group Health unfortunately did not follow up with him, and it spread and now is incurable. He went from 145/150 lbs, to a low of 115 (today 121).
    The new chemo is kicking his a**, but he is trying to fight. He loses so much water due to his upset stomach, so we use electrolytes to keep him balanced.
    Soda Tax
    So now not only do we have the expenses and stress of cancer on a single income:
    Strike 1: Cancer
    Strike 2: House collapsing…ask Lisa Herbold, and now
    Strike 3: Taxing Gatorade…THE one thing he can stomach. So now you have doubled a cost effective “medication”. He can’t do pedialyte and its $5.00….it was not designed for adults who can drink much more especially when they are sick.
    Maybe your plan was “So what, they can drive to another city or county and buy all the pop or gatorade they want…as long as we get our cut for those who don’t”. Let’s be honest, you can say it’s all for a specific pet project, but it will routed to the general fund before the first tax hits the tax collectors.
    I am not fundamentally against making it a luxury that is taxed because of the damage it does, but I am sure the council thought heavily about, instead of punishing tax payers, they could incentivize businesses to carry products from companies who think about humans, health and the environment?? The magical image Seattle likes.
    Maybe tax breaks for
    • Smaller packaging – less landfill crap
    • Healthier and properly portioned products
    • Recyclable products (yes Seattle is working on this but again in a weird revenue way)
    • Sustainable products
    Reward a business that is willing to do that. At the end of the day in this scenario, doesn’t everyone win?? Seattle prides itself on these ideas, so why not encourage the people who bring product to sell in Seattle, to participate??
    So the point of this story was to tell you that your tax has effectively put my family in ration mode again to TRY and save the one I love.
    I am not interested in having to get a doctor’s note to be tax exempt, but if that’s what has to be done at least do something. City Council did not think this through except to only address a council pet project for the downtown core, but we are real people tax payers.
    Please Fix this! He should not have to suffer any more at the hands of Seattle City Council, destroying anything that does not improve downtown…
    If you made it this far, I hope you understand my only concern is my partner. I need to fight for him and every other person who doesn’t know how or have the energy.
    Please pretend this was your family on a modest means and do the right thing.
    P.s Congrats on your victory to be Seattles Mayor. I wish you success and hope you are a thoughtful and strong leader….I don’t think I wasted my vote!


    HMC Rich

    Thank You for your poignant letter. I sincerely hope that the fight for your partner is turning for the better. And most business owners I have spoken to who sell sweetened drinks just shake their heads and say that it is hurting their business.



    I know this post is kind of old but if I am reading this correctly the tax is only on sweetened drinks specifically sold in Seattle? So why aren’t people just going to go to a store outside of Seattle to buy these drinks? It isn’t like Renton, Bellevue, Kirkland, Tukwila etc., are very far to drive.



    brukeste: Personally, i think cancer patients should ingest only organic whole foods, not factory products. You’ve posted several times but you do not respond to the simple solutions proposed. First, you can buy this stuff outside city limits. That LIFE-SAVING measure may be the only solution you can accept but a better one is to make a substitute gatorade. Making it yourself provides a far healthier drink than the garbage that is sold and it is not subject to the tax. I am inclined to think you are getting paid by the bottling and /or sugar industry to post an anti-tax argument. Prove me wrong. Provide a coherent reason why buying outside city limits is impossible and why making your own is not a far better alternative.



    exactly…Roxbury Safeway is not that far away. It’s not like driving to another city, for goodness sake. If you have cancer ( I had, 13 year survivor) you do what you have to do. If I was a caregiver for a partner, I would gladly drive that far, and more, if that was the only thing that was palatable to them. For the record, I think Gatorade is sugar water, crap. There is nothing nutritious about it. Might as well drink a full sugar coke. But that’s my opinion.


    2 Much Whine

    Good point dhg. Of course the WSB should always be open and welcoming to everyone but based on a previous post from brukeste (a rant against Champion Windows wherein brukeste states that he lives near 34th and 104th SW) it looks like he lives very close to Roxbury Safeway and is outside the city limits so very likely is NOT impacted by the soda tax at all. . . . wondering what the deal is.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 9 months ago by 2 Much Whine.


    Sounds like he/she just wants to stir the pot and see how many grunts and groans he can get out of the WSB readers.

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