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Resistance: Seattle Costco Tells Customers How to Avoid Soda Tax

Resistance: Seattle Costco Tells Customers How to Avoid Soda Tax

“Costco invites you to shop outside the city”

The progressive city of Seattle has enacted a new tax on sugary drinks. This is normally called a soda tax, but in Seattle it also applies to beverages like Gatorade. The tax is so severe, that it almost doubles the cost of products.

Costco is quietly fighting back by reminding customers that they don’t have to buy beverages in the city. KING 5 News reports:

Don’t like Seattle’s sugary drink tax? Costco invites you to shop outside the city

Costco letting its customers know that if they don’t like Seattle’s new sugary drink tax, they are more than welcome to shop at its warehouse stores outside the city.

Jason Mercier from Washington Policy Center, which opposed the tax, shot a photo from inside a Seattle Costco that showed the price for a Gatorade 35-bottle variety pack was $15.99. That is until you add the new tax, which bumps it up by $10.34 for a total of $26.33.

Costco also posted an explainer of the new tax, saying it adds 1.75-cents per ounce on “sugar sweetened beverages with added ‘caloric sweeteners’ or syrups. Then the store posted a reminder that shoppers can go to their Tukwila and Shoreline Costcos to avoid the tax.

See the tweet below:

See below for the stunning amount of the tax:

Liberal media outlets have pretty much ignored the story because let’s face it, they love the idea of taxes like this one. If Trump imposed a soda tax and Costco rebelled, they’d be held up as civil rights heroes.

Tom Blumer of NewsBusters reports:

Not National News: Costco Pushes Back Against Seattle’s Sugary Drink Tax

The City of Seattle probably didn’t expect pushback from Costco, seen by many on the left as retail’s “anti-Walmart,” after its “sugary drink” tax of 1.75 cents per ounce went into effect January 1. But that is exactly what has happened.

In moves the national press, which largely supports such taxes, has thus far ignored, Costco is itemizing the built-in cost of the tax on its Seattle store’s shelf tags, and informing customers that they won’t pay the tax if they shop at one of two other Costco stores outside Seattle’s city limits…

The most recent result found in a search at the Associated Press on the tax was a “here it comes” item published in late December. Google News searches indicate that there has been virtually no establishment press interest outside the Northwest.

The press is rarely interested in letting its readers know when nanny-state ideas targeting behavior aren’t working out as intended.


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DieJustAsHappy | January 14, 2018 at 11:18 am

These progressives are just too taxing to me.

    They will start policing the borders and check cars trunks for soda bought outside of Seattle and then fine and confiscate the offenders. And don’t think for a minute that the local federal courts will find a reason that allows them to do that.

    Now if you hire an illegal immigrant to buy the soda for you, when he gets stopped, they will allow him to keep it and probably just give him extra food stamps to buy more. And the local federal court will decree that it is illegal to check the cars of illegal immigrants.

These commies go around claiming that raising taxes on sodas will lower consumption, then they turn around and claim that raising income taxes has NO effect on wealth creation in a nation. Which is it?

    Snail in reply to rdmdawg. | January 14, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    Internet comment of the day! Bravo!!!

    Milhouse in reply to rdmdawg. | January 14, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    They don’t believe there’s such a thing as “wealth creation”. That’s pretty much the underlying dispute between socialists and capitalists: where does wealth come from?

      rdmdawg in reply to Milhouse. | January 14, 2018 at 12:43 pm

      Within the economics discipline, it’s already settled (consensus?) that capitalism is most efficient. The commies then spin off arguments “Is efficiency what we should be striving for, or ‘fairness’?” i.e. normative vs. positive economics.

      alaskabob in reply to Milhouse. | January 14, 2018 at 1:02 pm

      Does the present world population have only as much “wealth” as those of 10,000 years ago? You nailed it. The Left sees a zero sum game of fighting over a piece of only one pie while true wealth creation bakes another pie. If “religion” is the opiate of the masses by Marx/Lenin then “Taxes” is the opiate of the Left.

    Shane in reply to rdmdawg. | January 14, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    First, @rdmdawg you and I agree on MANY things. I don’t often comment on people that are saying things I agree with.

    Second, I 100% agree with what you are saying here.

    Third, I am not trying to start a fight with you.

    All that said. I want to point out how in the drug war discussion I warned about other people deciding what is right and wrong. This subjective decision making is the heart of nanny state totalitarianism. I do not think that by and large drugs bring any great “value”. I think that people hurt themselves using drugs generally. I have been to enough meetings with friends of Bill W., to see first hand what drugs can do.

    BUT, BUT, BUT this, this right here. The alternative to not legalizing is this, and IMO this is worse. Because the underlying principle is the same principle used in the drug war.

    I know you have your opinion, but I was trying to point out that the CSA is a bad law and that conceptually the drug war is immoral.

    They also claim that raising the cost of labor (via large hikes in the Minimum Wage) doesn’t reduce the consumption of labor (e.g. reduced hours, less hiring, more layoffs).

Many people will stock up by buying outside the city.
They will probably end up consuming MORE, but the local businesses will be hurt.

No doubt this city government has allocated the “revenue gain” and already has it spent on paper if not in reality?

WOW! I thought having to pay Sugar Tax on bottled water here in Vermont was bad . . .

Redmantrappedinbluestate | January 14, 2018 at 12:25 pm

Yes, Seattle has a new sweetened beverage tax. Because science tells us that sugar is unhealthy, and people should consume less of it.

Meanwhile, the very same public officials are pulling out all the stops to set up “safe injection sites” for heroin users. Evidently the science on heroin isn’t quite so solid.

Gas stations used to do this too. Easy fix – just make it illegal to tell people what taxes they are paying.

In some shady back street in Seattle a dirty old man comes up to you and ‘pssst…. want to buy a sugary pop?” It’s a person’s body… they should decide what goes in and comes out of it. Correct dear Left?

    Mac45 in reply to alaskabob. | January 14, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    “It’s a person’s body… they should decide what goes in and comes out of it. Correct dear Left?”

    Only if it is debilitating drugs or an abortion.

The history of Seattle Progressive/Liberal sin taxes has not been pretty. All they do is to create an island consumers who go to the outlying suburbs to buy their products. This happened with the stupid firearms tax. The gun shops moved out of town , but this did not reduce the number of firearms in the city. people simply bought them elsewhere and took them back to their homes in the city. So, while the Seattle Progressives were patting themselves on the backs, the city lost all of the sales tax revenue from the sale of firearms and ammunition and did not reduce either gun violence nor did it offset the alleged costs of gun violence. You gotta love it when a plan comes together.

This is nothing more than liberal optics and will doom the city just as it has doomed NYC and the People’s Republic of Kalifornia.

    alaskabob in reply to Mac45. | January 14, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    This leads to a required permit to possess a can of sugary pop in the city limits of Seattle if I gauge my Progs correctly.

      Mac45 in reply to alaskabob. | January 14, 2018 at 1:37 pm

      Not really. Anyone can still buy soda freely and it can be purchased elsewhere and legally possessed within the city. What it does, is put an unfair economic burden upon the poor, who may not be able to afford to travel to the suburbs to purchase cheaper soda. The people who can not afford to travel to the DMV once every 5-7 years to get a state ID card in order to vote certainly can not afford to travel out of the city several times a month to buy soda.

        murkyv in reply to Mac45. | January 14, 2018 at 2:10 pm

        A Soda Desert?

        DaveGinOly in reply to Mac45. | January 14, 2018 at 4:42 pm

        If Kalifornia can require its citizens to purchase ammunition within the state, then Seattle can require its citizens to purchase their pop within the city. Between the two, I think Seattle would be on firmer ground – such a requirement in Seattle would at least not interfere with interstate commerce, which is within the exclusive legislative jurisdiction of the federal Congress.

          redc1c4 in reply to DaveGinOly. | January 14, 2018 at 6:06 pm

          there will be a suit filed shortly by the CRPA & NRA/ILA against the ammo ban, possibly as soon as this week.

          they are claiming a violation of the 2nd Amendment & the Commerce Clause.

What’s the problem? You liberals vote for higher taxes. Your wish has been granted. You all shouldn’t be going out of the city to shop but instead flooding to the inner city stores to pay your fair share!!

OleDirtyBarrister | January 14, 2018 at 1:17 pm

The marxists clowns in charge of Philadelphia have been getting lessons not only in economics, but in geography.

They passed a cola tax and consumers responded by driving the short distance to other states like NJ, DE, and MD to do their shopping. It has injured the grocers and lowered sales tax collections on items that are in grocery stores and subject to sales tax.

Dirty commies, always stealing other people’s money!

Funny because Costco used to have a reputation as a liberal company.

4th armored div | January 14, 2018 at 2:04 pm

a bit off topic BUT
Why Am I charged tax when I buy a gift card and then again when I buy an item, I am being charged tax twice.

we need to start a complaint or quit using gift cards.

    4th armored div in reply to 4th armored div. | January 14, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    are their any sites where gift cards or prepaid debit cards and not have to pay taxes ?

    I don’t recall ever paying tax when purchasing a gift card.

    I Googled it just now and the consensus is that gift card sales are tax-free and if you’ve been charged tax on the purchase of a gift card you should return to the store and complain that they’re doing it wrong and get a refund.

The beauty of capitalism over the nanny state.

Paul In Sweden | January 14, 2018 at 2:40 pm

There are going to be a lot of soda vendors on the street selling black market sugary drinks. People will be buying cases from car trunks and out of the backs of trucks.

I have never been a betting man but I wonder what the safe bet would be in calling the end date of this ridiculous tax.

If you are going to drive out of the city to avoid the soda tax, you might as well do the rest of your shopping there at the same time. And I’m not just talking about your Costco shopping; surely there are other stores in the area of the out-of-city Costco that cater to your other shopping needs.

Seattle loses not just the soda tax, but also the sales taxes on all the other items.

Works for me.

Even liberal companies have limits.

They are not going to accept selling a product where the government LITERALLY makes more profit on it then they do.

Q: “How to Avoid Soda Tax”

A: Move to a “Red State”.

    you do realize that the reason Oregon, and Washington are in the shape they are is due to big out flux of Californians from the 80’s

No!! Moving to a red state is not the answer!! We don’t want the bullshit voting habits liberals bring with them. In 10 years we’ll need a soda tax to pay for all the crap they want!!

Liberals ruin everything they touch. Where is all the tax money going?

Even Cook County in frakking Illinois of all places repealed the soda tax after a few months.

The Experts ™ predicted that it would bring in about $3 million in October last year. Actual tax revenue? $175k.

Imagine if they itemized taxes on gasoline. I’m paying over $3 per gallon in Chicago while the price of a barrel of crude is @ $70, or @ $1.60 per gallon of crude. (The feds actually made itemizing the tax on gas illegal many years ago.) Watch for the progs to make itemizing taxes illegal on soda, too.