EppsNet Archive: Eric Garner

Soda Sticker Shock in Seattle

11 Jan 2018 /

Seattle is trying to discourage its citizens from drinking sugary beverages by imposing a 1.75-cent per ounce tax on all sugary drinks sold in the Emerald City.

Seattle soda tax

A $15.99 case of Gatorade at the Seattle Costco now has an added tax of more than $10. A case of Coke is now $7.35 more expensive than the Diet Coke or Coke Zero.

Sticker shock!

What will people drink instead of sugary beverages?

  1. Coffee. Seattle drinks a lot of coffee. Is coffee good for you? What if you put sugar in it?
  2. Beer. At these prices, it’s cheaper than soda.
  3. Diet soda. Are artificial sweeteners better for you than sugar?
  4. Fruit juice. Not taxed but contains a lot of sugar.

Should there be a tax on all-you-can-eat buffets? How about a tax credit for eating a vegetable?

Or maybe — just maybe — the tax code was not designed for and shouldn’t be used to impose nutritional penalties on the citizenry.

Economic question: How high does the sin tax on soda have to be before it becomes profitable to smuggle black market sodas into Seattle?

That’s not a frivolous question. Remember Eric Garner?

He died while being arrested for selling illegal “loosie” cigarettes as part of a black market created by stratospheric New York sin taxes on cigarettes.

Here’s another great health-conscious idea: I’ve heard a lot about the ill effects of sleep deprivation . . . Seattle should have a mandatory bedtime for all residents, with a fine of 1.75 cents per minute for violators.

Bedtime