It’s beginning to seem like lawmakers may have to come up with new tax ideas to resolve their impasse, and advocates of raising taxes have a suggestion for a target: soda pop.
The idea of an excise tax on carbonated beverages isn’t exactly new: Gov. Chris Gregoire proposed 5 cents per 12 ounces, saying it would raise $94 million a year. But lawmakers didn’t include it in their budgets.
The pro-revenue Rebuilding Our Economic Future Coalition backed by labor and health care groups ran a full-page ad in The Olympian today calling the tax a way to “break the budget bottleneck,” not to mention “help turn the tide on childhood obesity” by discouraging drinking of sugary beverages.
Specifically, the group calls for “adding just a few pennies to the cost of soda pop and other sugar-sweetened beverages.”
A broad tax on sugary drinks could raise upwards of $300 million, coalition spokesman Sandeep Kaushik said.
Kaushik said a tax not proposed by either House or Senate might be just what is needed to break through each chambers’ reservations about the other’s plans: