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Seattle's new tax on soda, sugary drinks takes effect Jan. 1

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle’s new tax on soda and other sugary beverages goes into effect Jan. 1, 2018.

The City Council in June approved a tax on the distribution of sweetened beverages such as Pepsi and Coke, sports drinks, energy drinks and other drinks. The tax excludes diet drinks.

Distributors would pay the tax of 1.75 cents per fluid ounce, but consumers are expected to see price increases.

Supporters said the tax would cut down on the consumption of sugary drinks that have little nutritional value and are linked to obesity, diabetes and other health problems.

Businesses and labor groups that opposed the tax said it would hurt small businesses and cost jobs. Other critics called it regressive, saying it would affect low-income consumers the most.

Seattle is among a handful of cities nationwide that have a soda tax.

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