Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has added diet drinks to his proposed soda tax plan, strictly because they are favored by white city residents.
When Murray was told by his staff that his initial soda ta plan would fall more on poor minorities, who drink soda more, he changed the bill.
Reason reports that taxing diet drinks has now become “an issue of equality” for the Seattle mayor because those drinks are consumed more by “upper middle class white people”, and he believes its a way to fight “white privileged institutionalized racism.”
Murray’s original soda tax required distributors to pay 2 cents per ounce, and it included Coke and Pepsi, energy drinks, fruit drinks, sweetened teas, and bottled coffees. At the time, he said the tax would generate $16 million in revenue that would go towards education programs designed to reduce disparities between white students and students of color.
The new bill will lower the levy to 1.75 cents per ounce and include diet drinks.
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