Taxation With Carbonation: Seattle’s Soda Tax Scolds Sugar Sinners

There are plenty of controversial political subjects to discuss in America these days, but the grandaddy of all of these is the idea of taxation.

In fact, the very concept of taxation was what prompted our founding fathers to take a stand against the imperial British government that once ruled over our lands and territories.  We mustn’t ever forget that the Boston Tea Party, thought by many to be the premiere action that incited the Revolutionary War, was essentially a massive protest against the British idea of taxation without civilian representation in Parliament.

Realizing that those crumpet-puppets were simply padding their pockets with our hard earned wealth at a rate they would determine on an annual basis incensed a great many future Americans to the point of violent opposition, thus securing everything that we hold sacred.

Now, 200-some years later, we as Americans have some fairly disparate ideas about what constitutes a fair use of our national tax structure.  The ongoing fight regarding the constitutionality of income tax, for example, has been at the forefront of economically-minded U.S. citizens for years, with a number of viable alternatives being floated by politician and layman alike.

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What about the smaller, more local tax changes?  Governments around the country have notoriously imposed random taxes at the state and county level for decades, employing some shady tactics to accomplish their goals.  Items such as a SPLOST tax are often subject to a public vote, but almost never on the same day as a general election.  Instead, local governments have discovered that holding SPLOST decision votes on off-days decreases the outcome, encouraging only those in favor of the additional taxes to head to the polling station.

In other situations, there is no public input whatsoever, and the offending bureaucracy simply installs a little cash cushion for themselves at the drop of a hat.  Often, these unpopular moves are disguised as a benefit to those affected, such as “sin taxes” that affect cigarettes, alcohol, and gambling.  By making these items more expensive via taxation, the government hides their money-grab behind the curtain of public health.

Such is the case in Seattle, where residents will now be paying a premium for their favorite carbonated beverage.

“Seattle has decided to impose a 1.75 cent per ounce tax on all sugary beverages within the city with the hopes of raising a $15 million revenue stream that it will use for programs to help people ‘have better access to fresh fruits and vegetables,’ as Seattle station KIRO 7 explains. The price of Gatorade Frost Variety Pack at Costco, usually $15.99, with the $10.34 tax, shot up to $26.33, leaving customers with sticker-shock.”

Even CostCo subtly pushed back against the bizarre move by reminding customers that other nearby CostCo locations aren’t subject to the government gouging, seeing as those locations aren’t technically in the City of Seattle.



This is precisely the sort of government overreach that incensed Americans to overthrow their government 270 years ago.

Would this price jump send you to another grocery store?  Or would you be forced to switch beverages?  Let us know in the comments.

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