Policy Analysis – Seattle’s Sweetened Beverage Tax

Author(s)

Austin Reiber

Faculty Mentor(s)

Christine Henderson (Law & Justice)

Abstract

Seattle’s sweetened beverage tax might adversely affect Seattle’s soda industry. Seattle’s sweetened beverage tax put a $.0175 tax per ounce of sweetened beverage. The beverage tax has caused soda prices to go up by more than half and soda sales to shrink by 29 percent. The twenty-two million dollars collected from the tax are designated for healthy food access and children’s health and education. All these benefits sound good, but in practice, it is not clear if the tax has reduced soda consumption and where the money collected from the tax goes. The Seattle City Council has already put five million dollars into the city’s general fund, and this was promised not to happen. The second part of this analysis focuses on two specific questions. The first, how the City of Seattle uses the collected tax money. The second question is how has buying sugary beverages lowered people’s purchasing of Seattle sweetened beverages, focusing on marginalized communities. The sweetened beverage taxes have significant effects on disproportionate and marginalized communities. While disproportionality and marginalized communities are not the central focus of the policy analysis, it is timely and essential to note how public funds are equitably distributed.

Keywords: Seattle, Beverage Tax, Equitable Distribution

Presentation

1 thought on “Policy Analysis – Seattle’s Sweetened Beverage Tax”

  1. This is very well-researched, I’ve always wondered if this tax was effective or not when it was implemented a couple years ago. Thank you for providing such a thorough explanation!

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