Long a stranger to liberty and freedom by any definition, the Seattle city council passed a $1.75 cents per ounce tax on major distributors of beverages such as Pepsi and Coke, and other sodas, as well as energy drinks, sports drinks, juice, and any other non-milk based products. Non-milk based drinks include many of those sold at Seattle coffee giant and major employer Starbucks and many other coffee shops in the area. Diet drinks and those from small distributors are exempt from the tax. The Seattle City Council passed a controversial tax by a vote of 7-1.

Distributors are required to pay the tax. However, the added cost has been directly passed on to consumers in most cases. According to the progressive city leaders of Seattle, the additional cost is to discourage people from buying drinks deemed by the powers that be to be too “sugary” rather than allowing the good people of the city of Seattle to make those decisions for themselves. Councilmember Tim Burgess, who helped push the legislation through the council, said it is a much-needed step towards encouraging healthy eating and ending childhood obesity. They claim the some $15 million Seattle expects to raise by the tax will go towards programs designed to educate young people.

Now a Seattle Costco has garnered much attention in hilarious fashion as they show just how much soda and other sugary drinks now cost Seattle residents. The new signage was captured and posted on social media where signs above each taxed sugary drink remind shoppers you can leave the city and buy the product without paying the tax.

In the first case, the price of a case of Dr. Pepper (36 cans) nearly doubled. According to the picture, Costco sells the soda for $9.99. But with the new sugary drink tax added of $7.56, the soda now costs customers a whopping $17.55. In the second case, Costco sells a case of Gatorade for $15.99. But the tax adds an additional $10.34 to the price, which brings the total cost to whopping $26.33.

From King 5:

Jason Mercier from Washington Policy Center, which opposed the tax, shot a photo from inside a Seattle Costco that showed the price for a Gatorade 35-bottle variety pack was $15.99. That is until you add the new tax, which bumps it up by $10.34 for a total of $26.33.

Costco also posted an explainer of the new tax, saying it adds 1.75-cents per ounce on “sugar-sweetened beverages with added ‘caloric sweeteners’ or syrups. Then the store posted a reminder that shoppers can go to their Tukwila and Shoreline Costcos to avoid the tax.

Despite the steep new prices brought to the residents of Seattle courtesy of the nanny state policies of the city council, Costco was there to remind customers who live within the Seattle city limits that the tax does not apply to its nearby locations outside of the city limits.


Some other cities that have gone over to the dark side and done this included many of America’s most progressive cities and municipalities, including –

  • Philadelphia
  • San Fransisco and Oakland
  • Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Albany, New York
  • Boulder, Colorado
  • Cook County, Illinois, where the city of Chicago is located

Berkely, California was the first American city to implement the sugary drink tax, otherwise known as the “soda tax” back in 2015. Maryland and Virginia also levy a statewide soda tax.

Reaction from the people of Seattle has been mixed with some stating they would be following Costco’s suggestion and going outside the city limits to buy their soda.  Yet others state they may simply give up soda altogether. Some others are compromising and just opting for the diet soda. Supporters of the tax said that’s the point – not necessarily to switch to diet soda but getting consumers to go for healthier options.

Jim Krieger serves on the committee for Seattle Healthy Kids Coalition and is also the executive director of Health Food America.  He states of the tax –

“I’m just very excited. The hope is consumption of the unhealthy product — which causes heart disease, diabetes — will go down, the sugary drinks to go down, and we fully expect that to be the case.”

Someone should probably clue Krieger into the actual facts that a simple search on the internet shows the abject failure of these so-called “soda taxes” nationwide. Santa Fe was the first to quash the “soda tax” after serious backlash. Chicago repealed their “soda tax” after only two months after being plagued by legal challenges, implementation glitches and a screeching, multimillion-dollar media battle between the soda industry and public health groups. Philadelphia’s “soda tax” suffered a similar fate after reports from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation found Philadelphia overestimated how much revenue a soda tax would generate and underestimated how much the tax would distort the beverage market.

We all want healthier communities, but the evidence clearly shows that beverage taxes have not delivered on the promise of improved public health. Instead, these taxes target working families struggling to make ends meet and small businesses that provide jobs for people living paycheck to paycheck.

The facts are clear: Beverages with sugar are not driving the nation’s obesity crisis and data from the federal government prove this.

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