Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s war of political correctness started with his attacks on guns and has now zeroed in on soda, and one fast food eatery is fighting back with a simple billboard message that is making national news.
The message from Ryan Hopkins, owner of the Burger Boss Drive-in, posted this message on his sign board: “Hey, Mr. Mayor, $5 sodas? UR pop tax sucks!”
Murray’s actions are reminiscent of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s “nanny state” campaign in which he tried to limit the size of sodas to 16 ounces or less. That mandate was declared unconstitutional when opponents took the restriction to court.
A similar tax in Philadelphia has infuriated residents there. Fox News reported that the tax took effect Jan. 1, and has a “per-ounce rate 24 times more expensive than the state’s tax on beer.”
Seattle has already been sued over its so-called “gun violence tax” on firearms and ammunition sales in the city. So far, nobody is lining up to sue over the proposed tax on soda and other sweet drinks, which Murray would ostensibly use the money to fight obesity and diabetes, and help poor people through education. That doesn’t mean someone won’t challenge the proposed tax.
According to KING5 News, the local NBC affiliate, Murray wants to tax soda at two cents per ounce, or 40 cents on a 20-ounce bottle of pop. It would nearly double the cost of a 2-liter bottle of soda, from $1.99 to $3.34, according to KING math.
Murray championed gun control measures when he was in the State Senate including one proposed ban on so-called “assault weapons” that would have allowed annual warrantless searches of gun owners’ homes by law enforcement. After becoming mayor, he eagerly signed the “gun violence tax” into law. The city was immediately sued by the Second Amendment Foundation, National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation and two firearms retailers in the city.
The soda tax will reportedly bring in a projected $16 million. However, recall that when the “gun violence tax” was hastily adopted in 2015, then-City Council President Tim Burgess forecast revenues of $300,000 to $500,000, but last week the city admitted that the tax has actually produced “less than $200,000,” but didn’t specify how much less.
TheGunMag.com and SAF are suing the city over non-disclosure of the tax revenue under the Public Records Act.