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Seattle's new soda tax prices making some shoppers' eyes 'pop'

The City of Seattle's new soda tax is causing sticker shock for some shoppers. Many stores have signs posted showing you exactly how much you now have to pay.{ } (Photo: KOMO News)

SEATTLE (KOMO) - The City of Seattle's new soda tax is causing sticker shock for some shoppers. Many stores have signs posted showing you exactly how much you now have to pay.

A regular can of soda is now an extra 21 cents; a 20 ounce bottle costs an extra 35 cents. If you're buying a whole case, it's going to cost you an extra $7 or so.

“I thought about buying the Coke, but it's $10 more,” said Costco shopper Dennis Peterson.

At Costco in Downtown Seattle, Peterson said the new soda tax was enough to change his mind. The signs posted in the store showed him how much more he'd pay in tax.

“At Costco, I have to admit, it's right out front, so I like that," said Peterson.

The signs also tell shoppers where to go to avoid the tax, specifically the Tukwila and Shoreline locations of Costco.

“I don't have any problem with them disclosing the tax. I don't think it's insidious or anything like that,” said shopper Mary Hood.

“I think it's a good business move,” said Jamil Chavez.

While some shoppers said they've decided to quit drinking soda, others said they're willing to drive a little further to pay less.

“We'll just go ahead and make the trip outside the city when we want to buy some,” said Peterson.

“If that's something you really drink a lot, I doubt that you would drive the extra mile to pay less,” said shopper Teresa Cannon.

Supporters of the tax say they welcome the new revenue and claim it'll help lower rates of obesity and diabetes.

“Seven years ago, I lost my father to diabetes and I have a mother who has Type II diabetes as well," said Seattle City Council member Lorena Gonzalez. "This is an issue that impacts Latino communities in particular."

The City of Seattle said the new tax is expected to generate about $15 million in the first year, which will help promote access to healthy food and address education funding shortfalls.

“We can now reinvest in programs like the Farm to Table program which increases food stipends and nutritional education programs,” said Teresa Mosqueda, Seattle City Council member. “The Fresh Bucks Bag-To-Go Program makes sure kids have bags of food when they are not in school."

A group opposed to the soda tax , the "Keep Seattle Liveable For All Coalition," wants people to share their concerns with city council members.

POLL: Has Seattle’s Soda Tax changed your habits? Answer our poll below or click here.


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