Seattle, WA- The final vote on the proposed sugary drink tax is set to be taken by the Seattle City Council this Monday, June 5th. Senator Bob Hasegawa, who is running for Seattle City Mayor, has voiced his opposition to the regressive tax, making clear that while the revenue of the tax is well intentioned, it shouldn’t be done on the backs of working folks who are typically the ones purchasing these drinks.
Senator Hasegawa stated:
“The worst thing about this tax gets right to the heart of why I’m running for mayor. This tax is regressive and punitive. If we are going to have a city, and a society, that values equity, we will have to break the cycle of regressive taxation. Regressive taxation is the one overriding fact of life that holds this state back from better schools, cleaner air and water, better public health and public safety, better transportation, and more equity of opportunity for those who aren’t at the top of the economic ladder.
How many more regressive taxes can we handle? Why should we handle even one more? If the state’s tax system forces us to raise revenue with a regressive tax for something really urgent, some emergency situation, that’s one thing. But this isn’t it. This soda tax does nothing for public health. It just slaps a band-aid on the problem when the tax system in this state needs major surgery. Worse yet, poorer people would bear the brunt of the added taxes, while they’re being told to “change their behavior.”
I stand with working folks, hundreds of restaurant and small business owners, Teamsters Joint Council 28, and the Martin Luther King County Labor Council, in opposing this tax.”
Senator Hasegawa is strongly opposed to any more regressive taxes, as he has stated that for seniors living on fixed incomes, and people in similar low income situations, they cannot continue to be taxed until they can no longer contribute to a healthy thriving Seattle and are forced to move elsewhere.