Election 2010: Don’t be fooled by D.C. soda lobby; vote no on 1107

Publisher’s note: My Edmonds News sent requests to both proponents and opponents of the most visible citizen initiative campaigns, asking them to supply a written statement, if possible authored by someone from Edmonds. This piece, written by Edmonds business owner and City Councilmember Strom Peterson, is in opposition to Initiative 1107, which would remove a recently imposed sales tax on candy and bottled water and a temporary excise tax on soda pop

By Strom Peterson

This election year, the American Beverage Association, the national lobbying arm of the Big Soda industry, is asking you to give them a tax break.  In fact, they’re willing to spend over $14 million (that’s about $5 for every Washingtonian) to run a deceptive campaign to make sure you give them that tax break by passing I-1107. That’s a new record for spending on an initiative in our state.

Initiative 1107 would repeal a small – and mostly temporary – tax on non-essential items like soda pop, bottled water, candy and gum. The tax amounts to 2-cents per can of soda, but the money raised – over $100 million each year – funds early childhood education, K-12, health care and protections for seniors and kids. If voters let Big Soda have this tax giveaway, you can expect further, more severe cuts to programs for children, seniors and other vulnerable populations.

The American Beverage Association claims that I-1107 is about food and groceries. It is not. The truth is that there is no food or grocery tax in Washington. Soda pop and candy are not food. Instead, they are major contributors to the epidemic of childhood obesity and diabetes.

I-1107 is really about letting soda companies keep their soaring profits at the expense of Washingtonians.  If I-1107 passes, it will only mean further cuts to essential services like education and health care; cuts that will do serious harm to our kids and our seniors.

The nonpartisan Office of Financial Management also found that I-1107 will cut city and county funds by an additional $83 million. The last thing we need in Edmonds is another cut in revenue.

A growing coalition of advocates for children, the elderly and education — including the Children’s Alliance, the AARP, Community Health Network of Washington, Elder Health Northwest, Washington Association of Churches, Citizens to Protect Our Economic Future, the Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Washington State Public Health Association and many more — have joined together to oppose I-1107.

In these tough times, we can’t afford to give big, out-of-state special interests tax breaks at the expense of Washington families.

Don’t let the Big Soda Lobby get away with hurting our education, our health care and our families. Vote NO on 1107.

  1. Don’t be fooled by anyone….READ the initiative, then make up your own mind. That spinning feeling will subside quickly, and you can be sure you made the right decision. VOTE your way!!!!

  2. 1107 is not a tax break to soda and candy corps. It is a break to us Washington citizens who already said NO to new taxes.
    The legislature continues to ignore us.
    Vote yes to 1107.

  3. Strom..since when has any tax been temporary? And after reading this intitiative it says that taxes go into General Fund? How does this pay for K-12, etc? It will be spent according to the whim of those in Olympia..My dad works at local grocer and they are completely baffled by what is suppose to be taxed as candy and what isn’t..some candy isn’t taxed because it contains certain ingredients, some healthy snacks are taxed because it contains certain ingredients,..etc..and to say no to something because some lobby pays a bunch of money for it or against it is not reasonable thinking..as in the world of politics it will aways come back to bite you as any law/initiative trying to be passed is always financially backed by one group or another..read through this and realize how poorly it was worded..if you wanted the $100 million raised from a 2cent tax on soda then write a law that says that…not all the other mumbo jumbo that was written into this thing in the first place..

  4. Michael:
    The tax very likely will not be temporary, and neither will be the State’s need for more revenue.

  5. Ron..if you are short on the income side, reduce spending..once you have shown voters you have done all that is possible to cut out unnecessary spending, then increase revenue..yes no arguement here..but be honest and clear about where it is coming from and how it will be spent..this tax was poorly written, vague and not “clear” about how the revenue from the tax will be spent..let alone what qualifies as “to be taxed”..to say it is a tax on soda and bottled water is not the complete picture..

  6. Ron..i agree..how about we start with a near perfect solution and go from there? Let’s say 2cent tax on bottled water (folks may opt to quit using bottled water which in turn will help the environment) and 2cent tax on soda pop(only labeled as such) with all proceeds going towards education..we raise money for problem area, it is clear, concise and simple..what a concept..and I bet u dinner at ur favorite local establishment it would pass..wether democrat or republican or somewhere in between, we are all tired of the add-ons and the pork and the gibberish..KeepItSimpleStupid! BTW that is why the $40 car tax won’t pass..if they would’ve just said we need an extra $20bucks for road maintenance it would have passed with flying colors..but no they had to add 37 mostly pie in the sky projects..ugh!

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