Would you drink diet soda to avoid a tax? | KUOW News and Information

Would you drink diet soda to avoid a tax?

May 31, 2017

The Seattle City Council revised a bill that would impose a tax on sweetened beverages at about 1.75 cents per ounce.

Will diet drinks be included in that tax?

That was a question that kept resurfacing at Wednesday’s council meeting. Ultimately, they decided it will only apply to non-diet sugary drinks.

Councilmember Sally Bagshaw supported that decision. She also acknowledged the concerns this tax could have on people who consume these kinds of drinks and businesses who sell them.

“I want to be careful about not causing some problems in that area that are unintended,” Bagshaw said. “I’m not saying that I think this is the right approach, I’m just suggesting that for now we try it incrementally. Let’s take it slightly slower and see how we do. See if we can get it passed.”

Bagshaw said she might support a tax on diet drinks in the future.

Some council members opposed the legislation. They said it could create a disparate impact for people of color who are the main consumers and sellers of non-diet drinks.

The full council will vote on the bill Monday.