The Daily Chronicle,
October 5, 2018-
It’s not hard to figure out what prompted the creation of Washington Initiative 1634. Just look at the donor list for the Yes! To Affordable Groceries committee registered to support the measure that would prohibit local governments from imposing new taxes or fees on grocery items. Top donors to the committee include PepsiCo, the Coca-Cola Company, Red Bull North America and the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group. More than $8 million has been raised in support of the measure that, among other things, would prevent municipalities from copying the privilege tax on sweetened beverages such as soda adopted by Seattle in 2017.
Proponents of the measure say that adding taxes to any category of groceries would be regressive and impact poorer citizens the most while curtailing a person’s freedom to choose what they drink. Opponents decry the presence of corporations funding an effort that would take away local control of an issue and place it squarely with the state while eliminating a potential source of funding for public health programs.