Soda tax-funded programs largely safe, despite lower pandemic revenue When Seattle started taxing soda and sugary drinks in 2018, part of the intent was to reduce consumption. The good news: people drank less soda. The bad news: it meant reduced funds for programs that help vulnerable communities. As the city council prepares to vote on the 2023 budget, it made some changes to avoid deep cuts. But it’s a short-term fix.