With the start of the new year, all sorts of new laws went into effect. One of those new legislative acts includes a massive sugary drink tax in Seattle, Washington. Local residents are now seeing an astronomical increase in prices thanks to that new tax.
As TFPP has reported before, other American cities have levied similar sugary drink taxes. After a short time, the market for those drinks was greatly altered, not to mention the fact that anticipated revenues did not manifest.
Because of the 1.5% tax per ounce on carbonated beverages, locals decided to imbibe something else instead: beer. After all, if the tax rate on soda is 24 times higher than that on beer, why wouldn’t someone choose booze over soda?
The experiment is failing miserably in Philadelphia, yet Statists nationwide just can’t resist the idea of using tax code to take more of people’s money, and to simultaneously engineer their behavior by artificially altering incentives.
Now let’s take a look at Seattle. If you thought that Philadelphia’s 1.5% per ounce tax was bad, just wait until you see what they did out on the Left Coast.
The Blaze reports that in June of 2017, the city council passed a 1.75 cents per ounce tax on all sugary drinks (not just carbonated beverages). That includes sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, juice, and other non-milk based drinks.
The purpose of the program was, literally, social engineering. The city council decided that it knows best for everyone in their city limits, and that messing with the price system is the most efficient and upstanding way to have a healthy population.
The purpose of the tax, Seattle’s progressive leaders allege, is to help thwart people from purchasing the drinks. Much of the tax will be used to fund programs designed to educate young people on making healthy choices.
The idea was to force distributors to pay for putting their products on the market, but the city council apparently does not realize who it actually affects: consumers. Businesses do not pay the taxes in the way that some believe; all taxation costs are passed on to the consumer. It’s simply how the economy functions.
So what are consumers now paying for their drinks? The price is truly beyond comprehension, as a CBS News manager found out.
ARE YOU KIDDING?!?! Check out these prices at Costco now that the Soda and #SugarTax has taken affect in the Seattle area. 1.75 cents per fluid ounce. Pics @DevinSenaUI & @HaydenBedsole pic.twitter.com/RcsPY4e8L4
— Tim Williams (@realtimwilliams) January 6, 2018
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 an added tax of $7.56, the soda now costs customers $17.55. In the second case, Costco sells a case of Gatorade for $15.99. But the tax adds $10.34 to the price, which brings the total cost to $26.33.
Costco was considerate enough to remind their customers that the tax is not levied outside city limits. So if you want to save some money, you might have to drive a ways out.
This is only in the first few days of 2018. Who knows how long it will be before Seattle residents are fed up enough to demand the tax be rescinded.
Will the nanny-Statists ever learn?