Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has announced a change to his proposed soda tax: add taxes to diet drinks too so people won’t think the plan is racist. Because minorities and low-income families are more likely to consume regular soda, people cried racism on the soda tax plan.
The Seattle tax would include everything from sodas to energy drinks to bottled coffee with sweeteners as well as diet drinks that are artificially sweetened. The original plan proposed a tax of 2 cents per ounce, but the latest tax proposal is for 1.75 cents per ounce.
On Tuesday’s “Pat & Stu,” Stu Burguiere and Jeffy Fisher talked about the proposed soda tax and why the concept is contradictory. The tax plan claims that fewer people will be drinking soda and will be healthier; at the same time, it expects to bring in $23 million a year to fund school programs for low-income students.
“If people don’t purchase soda, the city can’t get tax from the soda,” Stu explained. He compared the Seattle mayor’s plan to a similar attempt in Philadelphia, where a soda tax was supposed to fund schools in the city. The government can either deter people from drinking soda, or consumers can buy soda and give the government more taxes, but both things can’t happen at the same time.
Stu had a simple fix: “Let people make their own choices and get out of their business,” he said emphatically.