Keep Seattle Livable For All


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.

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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