MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Seattle mayor tweaks soda tax proposal, adds diet drinks

Apr 27, 2017, 10:26 AM | Updated: 1:11 pm

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s announced a few tweaks to his proposed soda tax, including slightly lowering what had originally been a 2-cents-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks.

RELATED: Seattle mayor swaps property tax for county sales tax

“We will raise the ongoing $18 million dollars for our education and health agenda with a 1.75 cents per ounce tax,” Murray said.

But now, Murray’s plan will also tax diet sodas. The mayor says he decided to include diet drinks to make the tax more fair, because numbers show more wealthy white people drink diet soda, while minorities drink regular soda.

“To those who say that we are resorting to a progressive or a regressive tax, I say, you know what is more regressive? You know what is really taking money out of African-American communities? Tolerating an education system that is failing students of color every day and leaving them without a future and giving them food that will only lead to health problems.”

Murray originally proposed the soda tax back in February. The proposed tax would help fund new investments in education, as recommended by the Education Summit Advisory Group. The recommendations are “aimed at reducing disparities between white and African-American/Black students and other historically underrepresented students of color,” he said. Investments would also be made for “Birth-to-Five” programs such as the expansion of the Parent-Child Home Program, as well as expanding access to healthy food.

Since making the proposal, more than 100 businesses have responded, saying it would negatively impact sales.

MyNorthwest News

Washington State University (WSU) President Kirk Schulz, left, and his wife Noel Schulz speak durin...

Steve Coogan

Washington State University President Kirk Schulz announces plan to retire in 2025

Washington State University President Kirk Schulz announced his plan Friday to retire in June 2025. He has held the position since 2016.

11 hours ago

Photo: Then-Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., speaks on Nov. 6, 2018, at a Republican party election nig...

Bill Kaczaraba

Boos, chaos at Washington GOP convention over gubernatorial candidate endorsement

The state GOP convention going on in Spokane is looking more like a demolition derby than a meeting of the minds.

12 hours ago

wsp charges protest I-5...

Heather Bosch and Kate Stone

Charges filed against protesters who shut down I-5 in Seattle

Charges have been filed against six protesters who were involved in the pro-Palestinian protest that shut down I-5 in Seattle on Jan. 6.

14 hours ago

Image: The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) closed part of Interstate 90 on Fr...

Steve Coogan

I-90 reopens after a closure due to an emergency tree removal

I-90 reopened after needing to close Friday afternoon due to an emergency tree removal, the Washington State of Transportation said Friday.

17 hours ago

The WNBA's Seattle Storm opens new facility in Interbay. (Seattle Storm X post)...

The MyNorthwest staff with wire reports

Seattle Storm unveil new Interbay practice facility, alternative uniforms

The $64 million facility in the Interbay neighborhood is an upgrade for the WNBA's Seattle Storm, which also debuted new alternate uniforms.

20 hours ago

Starbucks noise...

Bill Kaczaraba

‘What’d you say?’: Starbucks attempts to tamp down the noise

The coffee retailer, Starbucks, aims to reduce noise levels and enhance accessibility through strategic changes.

21 hours ago

Seattle mayor tweaks soda tax proposal, adds diet drinks