Seattle's Soda Tax in One Image

By RJ Johnson - @rickerthewriter

January 13, 2018

A new tax on sugar-sweetened drinks in Seattle has people grumbling and Costco pointing customers to stores outside city limits to avoid it. The tax, which went into effect on Jan. 1st, attaches an additional 1.75 cents on every fluid ounce of sugar-sweetened drinks.  

That can add up as a new sign at a Seattle Costco demonstrates. The bulk retailer normally sells a 35-pack of 16-ounce bottles of Gatorade at $15.99, but as the sign points out, the city's new tax imposes an additional $10.34 on the price, bringing the total up to $26.33. 

But that's not all: the sign reminds customers that they can try other Costco locations outside city limits if they want to avoid the tax on sugar-sweetened drinks. 

It's not just Gatorade that's seen its prices spike. A pack of 36 12-ounce cans of coke had an additional $8 tacked onto the price.

The tax was introduced as a measure to fight obesity by discouraging consumers from drinking them. Studies have shown excessive soda consumption is linked to health problems like obesity. 

Supporters of the tax say they want to expand it through the entire state. A bill was that would push the tax statewide was reintroduced to the Washington legislature on Monday. 

Photo: Getty Images

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