Seattle Soda Tax Approved

June 6, 2017
 
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Did your summer just get a little less refreshing? If you’re a soda sipper, that may be the case. On June 5, the Seattle City Council approved a tax on soda, energy drinks, and other sugary beverages (though diet drinks get a pass). The tax will take effect in early July at a rate of 1.75 cents per ounce, which will add approximately $1.18 to the cost of a 2-liter bottle of soda, says the Seattle Times. The vote passed 7-to-1 and will be the eighth such tax to pass in the U.S., after cities including San Francisco, Boulder, and Philadelphia. A similar proposal was rejected in Santa Fe, New Mexico, last month.

Proponents of the tax included “public health advocates and community groups,” according to CBS News. “They say it would cut down on the consumption of sugary drinks that have little nutritional value and are linked to obesity, diabetes and other health problems.”

Businesses and labor groups were against the measure, citing the negative impact on small business and jobs. “Other critics called it regressive, saying it would affect low-income consumers the most,” reports CBS.

Revenue from the tax is intended to go toward “programs that promote access to healthy food and help address education disparities between white and minority students.”

If your beverages of choice are sports drinks, sweetened iced teas, or fruit drinks, you also have price increases in your future–those are also included in the products to be taxed.