People from the Seattle community continue to speak out against the mayor’s proposed beverage tax. In a recent editorial in the Puget Sound Business Journal, Editor-in-Chief Emily Parkhurst writes about the harm the tax will wreak on families and businesses.

“This proposed tax will hit poor people of color the hardest, punishing them for what has been an inexpensive source of pleasure. They won’t drink less soda. They’ll just pay more for it.”

The tax would also harm local businesses says Parkhurst: “The tax would force Timber City Ginger Beer, for example, to raise prices by about a dollar per growler, which would almost certainly reduce sales and impede the company’s ability to grow.”

It’s not just that this tax would place a higher burden on lower-income families and local businesses but as studies and past experience have shown us, it won’t change behavior either. 

If our goal is to educate and not punish, then there is a better way to encourage individuals to consider the calories and sugar they consume from their beverages. We’re doing it through our Balance Calories Initiative. However, singling out a product for a tax won’t make people in Seattle healthier and certainly will hit the pocketbooks of those who can least afford it.

Read the editorial in full here