Seattle City Council to decide tax on soda, sugary drinks

06 Juin, 2017, 10:22 | Author: Marc Bacque
  • Bottles of soda are displayed in a cooler at a convenience store

Other localities that have adopted similar measures during the past few years include Philadelphia, San Francisco, its Bay-area neighbours of Berkeley, Oakland and Albany, California, Boulder, Colorado, and Cook County, Illinois, which includes Chicago.

The Seattle City Council has approved taxing soda and other sugary beverages to pay for nutrition and education programs. The 7-1 vote, with Councilmember Lisa Herbold against and Councilmember Kshama Sawant absent, paves the way for a tax of 1.75 cents per ounce on these types of drinks.

Mayor Ed Murray proposed the tax to raise millions to promote healthy food choices and help close the learning gap between white and minority students. Some critics have called that plan regressive. Ultimately, the finalized proposal called for a tax of 1.75 cents per ounce of sweetened beverage.

Councilmember Tim Burgess said he excluded them because the science is inconclusive on whether diet sodas have harmful effects on public health in the same way sugar does.

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Numerous people who spoke out against the tax were restaurant and store owners who called the tax a "business killer", whose "means do not justify the cause".

One-hundred-per cent fruit juices and zero-calorie diet drinks are to be exempted, along with dairy-based beverages.

"The City Council turned its back today on small business owners and working families with this job-killing tax that will drive up costs and further increase income inequality in Seattle".

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