This policy establishes an excise tax of $0.0175 per fluid ounce on most distributors of sweetened beverages and directs some of the revenues to programs that expand access to healthy and affordable food, close the food security gap, and/or promote healthy food choices.
This policy may correspond to diet-related strategies identified by the County Health Rankings’ What Works for Health tool, including:
For research on the potential effectiveness, please review the category links above.
We understand that this information is not comprehensive. It also does not include other important forms of evidence such as community members’ lived experiences and practice-based evidence.
See references about uses of the tax revenue for "closing the food security gap" and "reduc[ing] the disparities in [health] outcomes for children and families based on race, gender, or other socioeconomic factors." § 5.53.055.B.1,.2.
See references to healthy food and promoting healthy food choices. § 5.53.055.B.1.
Although the excise tax is on sweetened beverages, one of the possible uses of the revenue is to "ensur[e] resources for the Office of Sustainability and the Environment." § 5.53.055.B.4.
See references to "community-based investments to expand food access, such as food banks …" and "Fresh Bucks and Fresh Bucks to Go." § 5.53.055.B.1.a,.b.
The Director of Finance and Administrative Services is authorized and directed to make rules to implement the policy. § 5.55.165.
Violators are subject to fines and possible criminal prosecution. § 5.55.220.
The policy makes reference to "program evaluations conducted by the Office of the City Auditor," but does not describe a reporting or review process of the evaluations. § 5.53.055.B.5.
The policy notes costs associated with "[a]dministration of assessing and collecting the tax" and "program evaluations conducted by the Office of the City Auditor, including costs borne by other City departments in facilitating such evaluations." § 5.53.055.B.3,.5.
This policy is located in Seattle, Washington Code of Ordinances, Title 5 - Revenue, Finance and Taxation, Subtitle II - Taxes, Chapter 5.53 - Sweetened Beverage Tax. History: Ord. 125324 , § 2, 2017; Ord. 125886 , § 2, 2019.