According to The Seattle Times, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn is proposing a new way to help fund the tight budget: a “penny-per-ounce” soda tax.
McGinn announced the proposal Thursday night at a forum sponsored by the Seattle Parks Foundation and said the plan could raise between $21 million and $29 million a year, The Times reported.
In 2011, sources told KIRO Radio that the idea of taxing soda and other sugary drinks was being floated around at city hall. At the time, the mayor’s spokesperson refused to comment “on a rumor from an unnamed source.”
When asked about the possibility of a soda tax in July 2011, Mayor McGinn said, “everything’s on the table when we look at how we’re going to deal with our budget.”
“I can’t give you any definitive answer because I’ve got to tell you, we have pretty serious budget issues,” he told KIRO Radio.
In 2010, state lawmakers in Olympia passed a budget package that enacted nearly $800 million in new taxes, including taxes on cigarettes, bottled water, beer, candy and soda. The taxes were repealed less than a year later after a multi-million dollar, American Beverage Association-backed initiative.