Seattle’s Sweetened Beverage Tax Backfires, Black-Market Fills Void

sweetened beverage tax


The city of Seattle’s recently implemented “sweetened beverage tax” is already falling apart. Consumers and business owners alike are voicing their disdain. With consumers now driving out of the city to do their shopping, businesses have taken notice. One business owner telling me they have seen a “ten to fifteen percent drop in sales” since the new tax was implemented. Costco is now referring its customers to locations that are not affected by the tax to save their customers money.  Now not surprisingly a new trend is afoot, one that I like to refer to as “Seattle Pop Pushers.”

Posts all over social media are popping up (no pun intended) with un-taxed sugary beverages for sale. These people have found a void in the marketplace, and anytime governments try to restrict the market the ingenuity of people will always find a way to prevail if it makes or saves them money. The shortsightedness of the city council cannot be emphasized enough. The irony of it all is the legislation passed in an overwhelming seven to one, in approval. Yet the people most adversely affected are those that don’t have transportation to shop outside the city. So let’s call this what it really is, a tax on poor people.

The most disturbing point of all is that according to a report by KXLY a bill was introduced Monday to push the tax statewide. The bordering states would most assuredly see an influx of customers going across the state line to shop. How does the state of Washington intend to enforce out of state “sugary drinks”? And what will the policy ultimately be that they try to implement? Will it be hefty fines for those caught selling un-taxed sugary drinks? Or possibly ever arrests and jail time?

This sets a dangerous precedent that governments have been all too willing to go down, essentially saying they know whats best for other peoples health. While I agree that over-consumption of sugar does have negative consequences on one’s health, in the end, its none of the governments damn business what we choose to eat or drink.



Author: Timothy Eyer

Timothy is a graduate of Fullsail University with an Associate’s degree in Applied Science and a 2017 graduate of the Virtual Mises University in Economics. He is an amateur Civil War historian and a lifelong champion of Liberty. Mr. Eyer is Chairman of the Livingston County Libertarian Party and a member of the Libertarian Party of New York. An avid activist, he fights for 2nd Amendment rights, jury nullification, and ending the war on drugs. He is an advocate of free markets, Austrian Economics, and school choice. Timothy believes a free and voluntary society is best for a prosperous civilized nation. He is also the co-host of a weekly Libertarian minded podcast.

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