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Washington considering statewide soda tax

KIRO Seattle logo KIRO Seattle 3 days ago KIRO 7 News Staff, Lauren Donovan

A new bill in the state Senate would institute a statewide tax on sweetened beverages.

If SB 5371 is passed, a tax of 1.75 cent per ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages would be imposed beginning Oct. 1.

Seattle’s own sugary beverages tax went into effect in 2018, and generated over $18 million in 2018.

The goal of the legislation is to reduce health risks like obesity and diabetes, while simultaneously funding social programs with 60% of the generated revenue.

Proponents of the bill say it would help communities of color disproportionately affected.

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“It’s really clear that sugary drinks are the leading source of sugars in the American diet,” bill co-sponsor Sen. Robinson said.

Among the bill’s critics is the Washington Hospitality Association. Some businesses say in a single month the tax could cost them an additional $20,000.

If passed, Washington would become the first in the nation to impose a statewide tax.

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