Dori: City council considering a bait-and-switch with soda tax revenue
The Seattle soda tax is turning out to be a big fat “I told you so.”
The Seattle City Council is debating what to do with revenue from the soda tax because they’re ending up with more of it than they thought they would. They were anticipating $15 million; they’re going to get about $21 million.
I know what you’re thinking. “They told us that the soda tax would reduce consumption of unhealthy sugary drinks.” No — the consumption has stayed about the same. And who buys sugary drinks? Every single study has shown that low-income people and people of color disproportionately buy sugary drinks.
The Seattle City Council had previously said it would use all revenues from the Seattle soda tax for public health causes — to make us all healthier. But, of course, they are insatiable addicts when it comes to our money.
So what are they going to do with the excess money? Thanks to a proposal by the mayor, they are debating putting it into housing shelters for drug addicts on the street. They say, “Well, if we twist the law, we can make that a healthier initiative for the city.”
So in other words, it’s a bait-and-switch. They’re taking money from the poorest people of our city and the minorities, and going to put it into their pet cause of housing for the homeless. That way, the contractors — who have sunk their teeth into the city council so they can get big fat contracts building these housing units at well-over market cost — can get the money from the minorities and the low-income taxpayers.
Councilmember Debora Juarez pointed out that the food banks that are in the ordinance did not receive an increase in funding from the extra revenue. This is so obvious a scam that even members of the Seattle City Council are calling out their colleagues for their scam.
That’s quite a city council you voted in place, here.