The City of Seattle’s beverage tax is hurting small business owners, driving up prices and imposing more taxes on small businesses, restaurants and conveniences stores.
Working-class families and low-income and minority communities are among those feeling the greatest impact from the beverage tax as it worsens the income inequality throughout Seattle. The 1.75 cents per ounce tax on sweetened beverages was intended for distributors of the products, but customers are also noticing the price increase.
Keep Seattle Livable for All, a coalition of local small businesses and Seattle residents urging the City Council to consider the damaging effects of such an intrusive beverage tax, is working to support small business owners voice their concerns over the unfair beverage tax that is having detrimental impacts on their business.
German Arias of El Farol Mexican Restaurant stated, “My brother and I have worked within this business for over 30 years and this beverage tax has only added to all the other costs that we now have to face. We’ve had no choice but to raise our prices.”
Businesses that are noticing the impact the most are those near the Seattle border, as customers are making their way outside city limits to buy their beverages. The Seattle Times interviewed a small business owner near a city border who stated, “It’s near impossible for me to sell this now. They go over there, one block away, and there’s no tax.” This is just one of the many examples of customers taking their patronage to locations where there aren’t increased costs due to a beverage tax.
The unfair beverage tax is hurting Seattle small businesses and neighborhoods. Visit Keep Seattle Livable For All for more information and ways to take action against this discriminatory beverage tax. Stay up-to-date by following Keep Seattle Livable for All on Facebook and Twitter.