To the utter surprise of nobody who ever studied Economics 101 and learned the "laws of supply and demand," Seattle residents are fleeing the city in order to purchase sweetened soft drinks.
Former Mayor Ed Murray proposed the soda tax last year in order to discourage city residents from purchasing the evil beverages that have been linked to obesity, diabetes, hypertension, tooth decay and the election of Donald Trump. The city planned to use the tax revenue to finance its voucher program to assist lower income families to purchase fruits and vegetables.
And as they say in all those click-bait headlines. you'll NEVER GUESS what happened next. No, seriously - guess! What happened after the city increased the price of soda?
If you guessed that all the residents of Seattle now lead healthier lives and that hunger has been eliminated as a result of all that tax revenue, then you probably voted for Bernie Sanders. If you guessed that residents simply started purchasing their precious Cokes OUTSIDE the city limits, then you live here in the real world. Because of course that's EXACTLY what is happening.
You can't say they weren't warned. Five years ago, the state privatized liquor sales, the price soared, and the alcohol industry in Idaho boomed. But being a liberal means never having to admit you were wrong. Local retailers expressed concern that they would be losing revenue as a result of this tax. The city applied the tax to distributors in order to keep retailers from purchasing outside the city.
The tax does not apply to diet soda, which naturally led to charges of racism since wealthy white people are more likely to drink diet soda. Sugared coffee beverages are also exempt. I'm sure this is in no way related to the fact that Starbucks is headquartered in Seattle.
Apparently, the Seattle city council considered every possibility. Except the one where people just drove an extra five minutes to save money. The city's website even states that consumers shouldn't even have to pay the tax because "the tax is not collected by the retailer, nor is the tax burden intended to fall onto the consumer.” So, they apparently don't grasp the concept of geography OR economics.
Retailers just outside the city limits clearly DO understand how taxes work, and have responded accordingly with their advertising. One store bosts a "no sugar tax" sign.
Maybe the city can invest some of that tax revenue on building a wall around the city to keep they tax free sodas out.