Here's What's Up with the Soda Tax

Your Diet Coke problem is safe for now!

June 6, 2017
One of these things won't be taxed...

by Gregr


The Seattle City Council voted and it’s official, there’s about to be a tax on syrupy slurps of soda you suck. The tax means you’ll spend more than a dollar per two liter bottle. It’s specifically 1.75 cents will be taxed per ounce of liquidy sugar before the bottles and cans even hit the shelves. You, of course, will pay the difference.

Here’s the breakdown for the pop you currently buy:

  • 12oz can of pop:     +$.21
  • 20oz bottle of pop:  +$.35
  • 1-liter bottle of pop: +$.59
  • 2-liter bottle of pop  +$1.18

Poking around the Seattle Times story, it looks like the hope here is that since communities often targeted by sugary drinks are those with lower income - they then also tend to be the ones that have higher sugar related health problems because duh.

The idea: tax more = drink less. Oh, like cigarettes.

It also feels weird that you’re intentionally keeping the poor from having options under the premise that we the City Council know better than they do...

Someone tell this guy to knock it off:

Hands off my IPA's!

Another strange part of the “it’s about health” claim: they aren’t taxing the diet drinks that are often filled with a butt load of chemicals. Read the label Carbonated Water, Caramel Color, Aspartame, Phosphoric Acid, Potassium Benzoate (To Protect Taste), etc.

Also untaxed - coffee drinks. I’ve seen a five pump vanilla latte ordered in front of me at the coffee shop - not taxed. If I’m the cola company, I would be a mix of mad and stoked. Sure half of the products aren’t getting taxed, but it’s not being fairly implemented amongst all drink types.

In that same Times story, this line made me so sad for humanity: “the council also chose to exempt baby formula, medicine, weight-loss drinks and 100 percent fruit juice.” Baby formula?! As a dude who’s about to be a dad, I’m glad to learn ahead of time that baby formula qualifies as a sugary drink, while not taxed, no wonder our country struggles with obesity! If there’s one thing I’ve learned about losing weight as an adult, it’s to drop the sugar - why do weight-loss drinks need to be exempt? Do they have that much sugar?!

Here’s the stuff that’s gonna cost you more:

  • Soda
  • Sports drinks such as Gatorade
  • Energy drinks such as Red Bull
  • Fruit drinks such as Sunny D
  • Syrups used in soda-fountain pop

Part of the money from this tax will be used to help families on food stamps afford healthier food options. The plan is to start the tax January 1, 2018, but there’s still a chance that someone will challenge it and get it on the ballot in November.