On Labor Day, groups spoke in support of Initiative 1634, which would prohibit new local taxes on soft drinks and groceries.
While Seattle’s sugary drink tax would remain in place, the measure would stop other local Washington State governments from enacting similar taxes. Seattle's tax excludes diet drinks.
The measure says keeping the price of groceries as low as possible improves the access to food for all Washingtonians and taxing groceries is regressive.
In the text of the measure,"groceries" means:
But because the measure’s biggest financial supporters are large soft drink companies, some say I-1634 is misleading, as no tax on groceries has been suggested by local government and that the initiative is really just about keeping new taxes away from soft drinks, which would keep profits coming in to the soda corporations.
And health advocates don’t see taxes on sugary drinks as a bad thing. Supporters of Seattle's soda tax said it would cut down on the consumption of sugary drinks that have little nutritional value and are linked to obesity, diabetes and other health problems.
Meanwhile, a news release about a Monday morning rally in Burien says more than 1,300 Washington small businesses, restaurants, cafes, grocers and community organizations have joined in support of the measure.
Speakers at the 10:30 a.m. rally in Burien include union leaders and a grocery store manager.
The group behind the measure is Yes! To Affordable Groceries. The campaign supporting I-1634 has raised more than $6 million, with The Coca-Cola Co. contributing nearly $3 million, PepsiCo, Inc. giving more than $2 million and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. giving nearly $1 million.
The measure will appear on Washington State's November ballot.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
More news from KIRO 7
- Skateboarder Cory Kennedy sentenced to four years in prison after killing friend in DUI crash
- South Carolina woman charged with poisoning, killing husband with eye drops
- One dead in shooting in Everett on Sunday morning
- Extra DUI patrols on as study shows troubling trend
- Do you have an investigative story tip? Send us an email at email@example.com
© 2020 Cox Media Group