Keep Seattle Livable For All


February 16 Beverage Tax Update

Posted February 16, 2018

Since the Seattle Beverage Tax was implemented on January 1, Seattle residents have been stunned by how much prices of their favorite beverages have increased. Neighborhood business owners are outraged over the burden of the complex tax, the confusion it is causing their customers and employees, the anger expressed by their patrons and the impact it will have on their livelihoods. The fundamental flaws in the tax are confirmed by the impact it is having on businesses and consumers throughout the city.

Read more here.

A Letter to the Seattle City Council

Posted February 15, 2018

We, the Keep Seattle Livable for All Coalition, implore you to reconsider the “Sugary Drinks Tax” in Seattle. The evaluation of this tax should be based on facts and evidence on the impact this measure is having and will continue to have on small businesses and the local economy, and not on faulty perceptions that continue to be perpetuated.

Read more here.

Neighborhood business owners call on Seattle city council to focus on unintended economic impact of the beverage tax

Posted January 26, 2018

Neighborhood business owners and community leaders today said that the Seattle Sweetened Beverage Tax is having an even worse impact on their businesses than many expected, and they called on the City Council to turn their focus to the unintended damage the tax is causing to business and employee’s livelihoods.

Read more here.

Friday News Conference with Seattle Business Owners Speaking out in Opposition to the Beverage Tax

Posted January 24, 2018

The Seattle beverage tax, implemented on January 1, has already significantly impacted Seattle businesses and their customers, particularly “border stores” – those establishments that are near the city limits.

Read more here.

January 22 Beverage Tax Update

Posted January 22, 2018

Since the Seattle Beverage Tax was implemented on January 1, Seattle residents have been stunned by how much prices of their favorite beverages have increased.

Read more here.

Beverage Tax Update: Seattle Citizens, Business Owners Express Outrage over New Tax

Posted January 16, 2018

Since the Seattle Beverage Tax was implemented on January 1, the response has been overwhelmingly negative. Seattle residents have been stunned by how much prices of their favorite beverages have increased...

Read more here.

New Report: The Economic Impact of Philadelphia's Beverage Tax

Posted January 9, 2018

Starting in January 2017, the city of Philadelphia became only the second municipality in the US to impose a tax on sweetened beverages (SBs). Unusually for such taxes, the Philadelphia Beverage Tax (PBT) applies to all SBs, whether sweetened with caloric or noncaloric sweeteners. This reflects the origin of the PBT more as a revenue raiser than as a public health measure.

Please also see here for an infographic that lays out the key highlights of the study.

Statement from Keep Seattle Livable for All Coalition Response to Today’s Press Conference by Supporters of Seattle Beverage Tax

Posted January 5, 2018

While the goals of programs discussed today are certainly commendable, the simple fact is they are being funded on the backs of those who can least afford it.

Read more here.

Seattle Stores Participating in Beverage Tax Education Effort

Posted December 20, 2017

More than 400 stores throughout Seattle are participating in a public awareness campaign to prepare their customers for the significant price increases that will come to their favorite beverages in the New Year. The price hike is the result of a beverage tax passed without voter input by the City Council and will begin on January 1, 2018.

Read more here.

Let’s Make Seattle More Affordable in 2018

Posted December 14, 2017

As we approach the new year we call on our newly elected mayor and city council to prioritize working families and neighborhood businesses and make Seattle more livable and affordable by focusing on ideas that are smart and fair.

Read more here.

Beverage Tax to Hit Seattle Citizens in New Year

Posted December 7, 2017

A public education campaign kicked off today alerting Seattle residents and those who work in and visit the Emerald City that the price of beverages will increase significantly beginning New Year’s Day.

Read more here.

Seattle City Council Passes Job-Killing Beverage Tax

Posted June 5, 2017

The City Council turned its back today on small business owners and working families with this job-killing tax that will drive up costs and further increase income inequality in Seattle. City officials have repeatedly acknowledged that this tax targets low-income and minority communities by pricing hundreds of different beverages out of their reach. As a result, those who can afford this tax the least will be hurt the most.

Despite the health claims the City Council uses to justify this new tax, there’s actually no evidence that similar taxes elsewhere have improved public health. The evidence is clear that these types of taxes only make people’s lives harder and their cities less livable.

Martin Luther King County Labor Council Passes Resolution Against Beverage Tax

Resolution is an important step in fight against Seattle's proposed beverage tax
Posted May 22, 2017

On Wednesday May 17, 2017, Teamsters Local 174 presented a Resolution before the Martin Luther King County Labor Council urging them to "Beware of the Beverage Tax: It is not what it seems." The Resolution, which demanded that any beverage tax proposal include measures to address the negative impact on working families, was passed by the Council in a unanimous vote of the delegates.

Read more here.

Coalition Delivers Letter Signed by 209 Small Business Owners

'Proponents goal of reducing sales is blind to impact on our businesses’
Posted May 17, 2017

SEATTLE – Supporters of Keep Seattle Livable For All hand delivered a letter signed by a 209 small business owners to the Seattle City Council on Wednesday, expressing their concern that their elected officials are turning a blind eye to the economic hardship a proposed beverage tax will wreak on their livelihoods.

“Your tax stands to increase wholesale costs by more than 60 percent, which wipes out any money we might make and need to survive,” says the letter. “Many of the products covered by this proposed tax are products that contribute considerably to the daily revenue we rely upon to help our employees live in the communities where they work, and allow for an equitable lifestyle for themselves and their families.”

Read the full letter here.

Sweetened Beverage Tax Lacks Clear Direction, Could Harm Small Businesses

Proposal from Mayor, City Council fails to provide a straightforward, effective solution for community needs
Posted May 11, 2017
This week, the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Board of Trustees voted to oppose the proposed 1.75-cents per ounce sweetened beverage tax in the City of Seattle.

The vote comes after the Chamber carefully evaluated the measure through its member-led process. Ultimately, members concluded that the City has not demonstrated how the new stream of revenue would be efficiently spent to drive effective outcomes. The tax would also create a declining revenue source—as consumption of sugary beverages is already on the decline in Seattle—creating an undependable funding mechanism for important programs.

Read more here.

Coalition Urges Seattle City Council to Reject Beverage Tax

Regressive tax on sweetened drinks would hit local businesses and working families the hardest
Posted May 3, 2017

SEATTLE – Representatives of Seattle’s small businesses and working families gathered at City Hall today for the first public hearing on a proposed “sweetened beverage tax,” which they said would damage the economic health of the city’s most vulnerable communities.

The hearing, which was held by the City Council’s Standing Committee on Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods & Finance, comes a day after voters in Santa Fe, New Mexico, overwhelming rejected a similar tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.

Many of my customers work hard but struggle to make ends meet,” said Husik Harutyunyan, owner of Z Food Mart. “If my customers no longer can afford to buy what they want at my store, how will I be able to pay my bills and my other expenses?”

Daniel Kim, executive director of the Korean American Grocers Association of Washington, agreed. “As small businesses already struggling with an excessive amount of taxes, fees and regulations, we are deeply concerned about Mayor Murray’s proposed tax on beverages, and the harmful consequences it will undoubtedly have on Seattle’s working class.”

The proposed tax would assess 1.75 cents per ounce on more than 1,000 sugar-sweetened beverages – including energy and sports drinks, juice drinks, sweetened teas and ready-to-drink coffees – as well as beverages with no sugar at all, and syrups used in coffee drinks.

Read More Here.

Seattle Proposes Massive Tax On Small Businesses, Low-Income Families

Posted April 27, 2017
SEATTLE – Details released today about the city’s proposed beverage tax reinforce concerns voiced by more than 150 small business owners and local labor leaders that the tax would cause significant economic harm.

According to a draft of the legislation released by Mayor Ed Murray’s office, the proposed “Sweetened Beverage Tax” would assess a tax of 1.75 cents per ounce on a broad range of sugar-sweetened beverages – including energy and sports drinks, juice drinks, sweetened teas and ready-to-drink coffee drinks – as well as beverages with no sugar at all, and syrups used in many popular coffee drinks. The tax would not apply to 100-percent fruit juices or sweetened milk-based products, many of which contain as much or more calories from sugar.

Although 1.75 cents per ounce might not sound like much, the mayor’s office estimates that the tax will raise $23 million a year to fund “investments in education and food access” programs. But some estimates suggest that amount could actually be much higher, making the tax all the more harmful to the economic health of the small business community.

“This beverage tax is a business killer, especially a small business killer,” said Gurdev Singh Mann, who has owned King’s 76 in Seattle’s Rainier Valley neighborhood since 1995. “Where does it stop? The city’s spending is going through the roof. But instead of living within their budget, they just keep looking for who they can tax more.”

Read more here.

You can’t fight obesity by killing jobs – No Beverage Tax in Seattle

An Op-ed by Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer Rick Hicks
Posted April 24, 2017
The tax on sugar-sweetened beverages proposed by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is a disaster in waiting for local workers, businesses and families. On its surface, the tax may sound like a good idea: fighting the obesity epidemic while funding education at the same time – who wouldn’t like that? But the reality is that it is working families who will end up shouldering the heavy burden of this proposed tax...

Read more here.

Statement on Seattle’s Draft Beverage Tax Legislation Released Today

Posted April 21, 2017
Keep Seattle Livable for All is deeply disappointed that the City of Seattle has decided to move ahead with a planned tax on beverages...

Read more here.

Over 150 Seattle Small Businesses Form New Coalition Against Beverage Tax

Keep Seattle Livable for All Group to Protest Unfair Tax that Would Harm Businesses, Jobs and Seattle Consumers.
Post April 4, 2017
Today, over 150 small business owners in Seattle launched a coalition against a beverage tax proposed by Mayor Ed Murray that will hit customers hard and cause significant sales losses at local stores...

Read more here.

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