Yesterday, Seattle lawmakers pushed through a costly 1.75 cents per ounce tax on beverages that will make it even harder for residents living paycheck to paycheck to afford to live in the city.
Yesterday, Seattle lawmakers pushed through a costly 1.75 cents per ounce tax on beverages that will make it even harder for residents living paycheck to paycheck to afford to live in the city. In a piece for Reason.com adjunct law professor and author Baylen Linnekin breaks down why the beverage tax won’t make people in Seattle healthier but will hurt local businesses and disproportionately hit lower-income families the hardest.
Besides being regressive, Linnekin writes that taxes fail to make people healthier and drive Seattle residents to buy their groceries outside city limits.
"Local soda taxes are an unpopular idea around much of the country and run into the problem of border-hopping evasion," Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute's Center for Constitutional Studies told Linnekin.
After all, when a beverage tax went to a ballot in Santa Fe just last month it was overwhelmingly defeated by the people.
Linnekin points to other taxes around the country which failed to decrease obesity rates. "City officials from Philadelphia and Berkeley, Calif., told Seattle City Council members that they have yet to see any lasting effects from the soda taxes that have been enacted," Linnekin quotes Seattle station KIRO.
Experience tells us there are no upsides to job-killing taxes that target small business owners and low-income working families. To learn more about the negative consequences of beverage taxes, visit The Truth About Beverage Taxes.