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News

Farm Bureau CEO: If we can’t compete, it’s bad for Washington agriculture
My Northwest | October 17, 2018
A “yes” vote on I-1634 means you get to stop individual cities from enacting taxes on groceries, a measure pushed after Seattle taxed sugary beverages. The measure does not change what’s happening in Seattle, but moving forward would prevent these types of taxes elsewhere.

Report: Washington State Taxes Are Still the Most Inequitable in the Country
Seattle Met | October 17, 2018
In Washington state, the less money you make, the larger your percentage of income goes toward taxes.

I-1634 would help protect those living on a fixed income
Takoma Weekly | October 12, 2018
The cost of living in Washington state keeps going up, well above the rest of the nation. That doesn’t bother the wealthy here so much, but what about Washington retirees and seniors whose utility bills, rent, groceries and taxes keep going up when their savings are not?

PRESS RELEASE: Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Announces Support of I-1634
Yes! To Affordable Groceries | October 11, 2018
Citing the potential damage grocery taxes would have on its members, the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce today announced its support of Initiative 1634, Yes! To Affordable Groceries Act.

EDITORIAL: Initiative 1634 is worth a ‘yes’ vote
The Omak Okanogan County Chronicle | October 10, 2018
The price of everything continues to rise. A couple of quarter and dimes here and there eventually add up to several dollars. That’s why The Chronicle’s editorial board recommends a “yes” vote on state Initiative 1634 to prevent a hike on prices at the grocery store. The initiative would prohibit local government entities from imposing any new tax, fee or other assessment on grocery items.

Editorial: I-1634 will prevent a sugar tax , vote ‘yes’ in November
Whidbey News Times | October 9, 2018
Big taxes were one of the tools successfully used to discourage tobacco use over the last few decades. And Initiative 1634 aims to accomplish much the same thing by taxing sugar.

Washington voters will make big decisions on four major initiatives in 2018, including whether to be first in the country to put a fee on carbon
Inlander | October 4, 2018
Despite the wordy name, the measure is fairly straightforward: It would prevent local taxes or fees on groceries, most of which are already exempt from tax under state law. Those that aren't, namely soft drinks, would also be exempt if the measure passes. Existing local grocery taxes, such as Seattle's tax on sugary beverages, would remain in place if in effect by January 2018, but they couldn't go up or be expanded if the measure passes.

Op-Ed: Initiative 1634 would ban discriminatory local taxes of food items
Watch Dog | October 3, 2018
In November, the people of Washington will vote on Initiative 1634. If enacted, the measure would work as a restriction on imposing discriminatory food taxes, such as a tax on soda distribution. Under current law, local governments are not generally able to place a sales tax directly on food items.

Letter: Against any sales tax on groceries
Lynden Tribune | October 3, 2018
To me as a consumer and senior lifetime adult Whatcom County resident, it boggles my mind to think of paying more sales taxes on groceries. To paraphrase a past president, “here we go again.”

Initiative 1634 aims to stop local taxes on groceries
Chewelah Independent | October 2, 2018
Going to the grocery store is something we do with little thought to political ramifications. Come this November, however, Washington Initiative 1634 will bring this everyday activity onto the ballot.

Opinion: The poor and middle-class will be hardest hit
The Seattle Times | September 28, 2018
A nickel here, a dime there is becoming a quarter here and a half-dollar there. When it comes to the essentials like food and beverages, these cost increases are painful. Higher grocery prices don’t hurt Seattle millionaires, but they crush middle-class and fixed-income families. Initiative 1634, the November ballot measure that would put an end to new local taxes on food and beverages, is the proactive step we need to protect our most vulnerable communities.

Protecting families and businesses from regressive taxes
Kitsap Sun | September 28, 2018
Despite efforts to portray this measure as confusing and complicated, the language for I-1634 is straight forward. I-1634 would ensure that our groceries, including all of the foods and beverages that we consume every day, would be protected from any new or increased local tax, fee or assessment. That’s it. It covers all food and all beverages – the most important items in our grocery cart and the essentials of every family’s budget.

Hispanic Organizations Add to Growing List of I-1634 Supporters, Standing Up for Tax Fairness and Affordability
Yes! To Affordable Groceries | September 25, 2018
Yakima, WA – Citing the importance of keeping groceries affordable and preventing further unfair taxation, several Hispanic chambers of commerce today announced they have joined the more than 1,400 individuals, groups and organizations that are supporting Initiative 1634 and saying Yes! To Affordable Groceries.

PRESS RELEASE: Washington Farmers say Yes! To Affordable Groceries
Yes! To Affordable Groceries | September 20, 2018
The Washington Farm Bureau today announced it is proud to be one of many agriculture, business and community organizations supporting Washington State Initiative 1634, Yes! To Affordable Groceries, on the November ballot. I-1634 will prohibit new, local taxes on food and beverages.

Initiative 1634 would ban discriminatory local taxes of food items
Tri-City Herald | September 19, 2018
In November the people of Washington will vote on Initiative 1634. If enacted, the measure would work as a restriction on imposing discriminatory food taxes, such as a tax on soda distribution. Under current law, local governments are not generally able to place a sales tax directly on food items.

WPC: I-1634 Could Have Drastic Consequences On Ag Community
Washington Ag Network | September 18, 2018
This fall, voters across Washington will be asked if they want to ban local governments from implementing privilege taxes.

Initiative 1634: Prohibition of new taxes or fees on foods and drinks
NBC Right Now | September 5, 2018
How would you feel about more taxes on your groceries? With the election just two months away, we wanted to look into a couple measures on the Washington ballot; with Initiative 1634 being one of them.

Workers and Small Businesses Announce Support for Yes! To Affordable Groceries Campaign
Yes! To Affordable Groceries | September 3, 2018
Before the annual Labor Day Block Party and Cookout, Union leaders, workers, and small businesses held a press conference today in support of Yes! to Affordable Groceries campaign (I-1634), which would prohibit municipalities from enacting regressive taxes on groceries.

Labor groups stump for I-1634, funded by industry to fight soda taxes
KIRO7 | September 3, 2018
At a Labor Day event in Burien, union leaders stumped for Initiative 1634, which would block Seattle-style soda taxes.

Taxing your groceries? It’s on the ballot in November
Q 13 Fox | September 3, 2018
What you spend on groceries could be impacted by a big vote in November. Washington Initiative 1634 wants to block local cities from raising taxes on certain foods, like Seattle did with sugary beverages.

Washington initiative aims to block future soda taxes
KREM | August 31, 2018
An effort to block future soda taxes from being implemented is underway in Washington state.

The Journal’s View: Initiative 1634 deserves support
Spokane Journal of Business | August 30, 2018
Washington state voters should back Initiative 1634 prohibiting local governments from taxing groceries, in an effort to prevent measures like the city of Seattle’s sugary beverage tax from becoming commonplace.

Minority businesses come out against future soda tax
KUOW | August 30, 2018
A coalition of grocery store owners run by people of color has thrown its support behind I-1634. The initiative, funded primarily by soda companies, is a pre-emptive move to bar local governments from taxing sugary drinks.

PRESS RELEASE: Ethnic Chambers of Commerce Coalition Stands Up for Local Businesses with Endorsement of I-1634
Yes! To Affordable Groceries | August 29, 2018
At a press conference today in Seattle’s International District, the Ethnic Chambers of Commerce Coalition (ECCC) announced their support of Yes! To Affordable Groceries, Washington State Initiative 1634, which will prohibit new, local taxes on food and beverages.

Lost: Seattle’s laid-back charm
Crosscut | August 20, 2018
Life in Seattle feels punitive these days. Yes, we have the consolation of living in one of the most beautiful settings for a city anywhere in the world. And there’s never been a time when consolation has seemed more important. We also used to feel like a haven from many problems — a town that figured out the balance between work and play, between pleasure and responsibility, between nature and urban life.

I-1634 aims to obstruct taxing food
Daily Sun | August 10, 2018
The Washington Secretary of State’s Office has formally certified Initiative 1634 for the Nov. 6, 2018 general election ballot, and it could be the ballot item that brings out the voters. It aims to protect the state from a tax most voters oppose, a tax on food and beverages.

Soda tax: Uneven burden
The Seattle Times | August 10, 2018
The story on beverage-tax revenues makes very clear what store owners throughout the city like me already know — when government taxes products that are core to our business, it can lead to higher prices for our customers across the board.

Yakima agriculture and business leaders: I-1634 will protect jobs, small businesses, working families
Yes! To Affordable Groceries | August 7, 2018
Leaders from Yakima Valley’s business and agriculture communities gathered at Wray’s Food & Drug (Summitview) today to announce support for Washington State Initiative 1634 , Yes! To Affordable Groceries, which will prohibit new, local taxes on food and beverages. I-1634 will be on the November ballot.

Yes! To Affordable Groceries Act Certified for November Ballot
Yes! To Affordable Groceries | August 6, 2018
The Yes! to Affordable Groceries coalition today announced that the Washington Secretary of State has formally certified Initiative 1634 for the November 2018 ballot, giving voters the opportunity to make their voices heard on keeping groceries affordable.

Letter: Some area residents ‘are enthusiastically in favor of I-1634’
Clark County Today | August 6, 2018
Last week, I attended a community event to discuss the impact that taxes on groceries could have on local businesses along the Oregon border. After a positive discussion, I was surprised to see that Clark County Today’s coverage failed to capture why so many of us here in Vancouver are enthusiastically in favor of I-1634, Yes! To Affordable Groceries, on the November ballot.

I-1634 good for small business
Spokesman-Review | July 28, 2018
There has been a lot of criticism of Initiative 1634 (Yes! To Affordable Groceries) in this paper, but I wanted to share why I signed up for the coalition and why I’m supporting this effort.

Grocers in Clark County support anti-tax measure
The Columbian | July 25, 2018
Rising costs of business have led some Clark County companies to support a new ballot measure, backed largely by big beverage companies.

I-1634 protects workers
Spokesman-Review | July 21, 2018
Taxes on food and beverages hit the people and businesses who can least afford them. I-1634 locks in a restriction on local taxation of the most important items we put in our grocery carts.

Yes to Affordable Groceries campaign submits initiative signatures to Sec. of State for Nov. ballot
KXLY Spokane | July 19, 2018
In a proactive fight to protect the current cost of your groceries, the Yes to Affordable Groceries campaign has now submitted over 360,000 signatures to the Washington Secretary of State to get initiative 1634 on the November ballot.

PRESS RELEASE: Rosauers CEO Jeff Philipps, Spokane business leaders rally support for Initiative 1634
Yes! To Affordable Groceries | July 19, 2018
Rosauers Supermarkets CEO Jeff Philipps today hosted a meet-and-greet for Spokane area businesses to build support for Yes! to Affordable Groceries, Washington State Initiative 1634.

LETTER: Initiative aims to keep food and beverages more affordable
Vashon Beachcomber | July 18, 2018
The recent letter claiming that Washington State Initiative 1634 – Yes to Affordable Groceries — is misleading at face value and conveniently overlooks what the measure actually says as well as the long list of people and organizations that are early supporters.

State initiative aims to protect grocery prices
Port Townsend Leader | July 18, 2018
With more than 360,000 signatures collected and submitted to the Washington Secretary of State for verification on July 5, a new state measure aims to protect everyday grocery items from local taxation.

PRESS RELEASE: Yes! to Affordable Groceries Coalition Surpasses 1,000 Members
Yes! To Affordable Groceries | July 17, 2018
After submitting more than 360,000 signatures to the Office of the Secretary of State and launching a statewide campaign, the Yes! to Affordable Groceries coalition today announced that more than 1,000 Washington businesses, organizations and individuals are actively supporting and organizing on behalf of Washington State Initiative 1634.

Washington farm groups join bid to nip city food taxes
Capital Press | July 13, 2018
Beverage companies are leading and agricultural groups are joining a campaign to contain drink, food taxes to Seattle.

I-1634 backers warn soda tax could spread to food
Spokesman Review | July 10, 2018
Supporters of an anti-tax initiative say they fear a local tax on food would hurt working families, even though they concede that no city or county in Washington has such a tax.

Ballot measure would ban local taxes on groceries and soda
Herald Net | July 10, 2018
A ballot measure barring cities from taxing soda pop and many common foods will provide much-needed protection for working families who would be hit hardest by such taxes, supporters said Monday.

Seattle’s soda tax scam already a huge failure
My Northwest | July 10, 2018
It only took three months to reveal Seattle’s soda tax as a monumental failure.

Barbara Richardson and Sonja Halverson: Protect groceries in Spokane now and this November
Spokesman Review | July 9, 2018
While Washington state doesn’t tax groceries, a loophole says local governments may.

PRESS RELEASE: Diverse Statewide Coalition Unites in Support of Affordable Groceries
Yes! To Affordable Groceries | July 9, 2018
A Seattle grocer is concerned about the impact of higher prices to his neighborhood business and his customers; a Camas shop owner fears that with her high rent any additional expenses would force her to shut down; a Spokane mother of three young children is exasperated with the possibility of additional local taxes on essential items like meat, milk or eggs.

Voters to be asked to stop local soda and grocery taxes
The Spokesman-Review | July 6, 2018
Washington voters are likely to be asked this November whether local governments should be barred from placing new taxes on soda or other grocery items.

Petitions turned in for gun restriction, food tax ban measures
Herald Net | July 6, 2018
Sponsors of two statewide initiatives — one to impose new restrictions on firearms and another to keep local governments from taxing groceries — submitted signatures to the Secretary of State’s Office on Thursday.

Campaign delivers signature petitions to bar new soft-drink and food taxes in Washington
Seattle Times | July 5, 2018
An initiative campaign funded primarily by soft-drink companies seeking to block local governments from enacting new taxes on soft drinks and food handed in its signatures Thursday for the November election ballot.

Are Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Taxes Regressive? Evidence from Household Retail Purchases
Tax Foundation | June 19, 2018
Several U.S. cities in recent years have sought to expand their portfolio of taxes to include sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) as a means to combat obesity, diabetes, and other diet-induced health problems. These reforms join the legacy of movements in behavior-correcting beverage taxes on alcohol and other “sin” products. Perhaps the most common complaint of these taxes, however, is their anticipated regressivity.

A Small Victory on the Global Spread of Soda Taxes
Tax Foundation | June 15, 2018
Earlier this month, an independent panel advising the World Health Organization (WHO) defied expectations. Instead of recommending that nations across the globe tax sugary drinks, the panel stopped just short, due to pressure from the United States.

PRESS RELEASE: Initiative 1634 Issues Update
Yes! To Affordable Groceries | June 11, 2017
The Yes! to Affordable Groceries coalition of citizens, businesses and community organizations is in the process of gathering signatures to qualify Initiative 1634 for the November ballot.

Ballot Initiative Would Prevent New Taxes On Groceries
KNKX | May 14, 2018
A group has been gathering signatures for a ballot initiative meant to prevent new taxes on groceries in Washington state. The Yes! To Affordable Groceries initiative was drafted in direct response to Seattle’s sugary beverage tax.

Rant & Rave
Seattle Times | May 13, 2018
To the city of Seattle sweetened-beverage tax that increased the cost of my prune juice. I’m a senior. Everyone who drinks prune juice is a senior. Please let us have our prune juice tax-free. We’ve earned it and we need it!

Sugary drink tax earns the city $4 million, but is it working?
My Northwest | May 10, 2018
The little tags at grocery stores informing customers of higher soda prices are ubiquitous, as are the looks of irritation every time somebody is reminded of Seattle’s sugary drink tax.

PRESS RELEASE: Yes! To Affordable Groceries Launches Signature Drive for November Ballot Initiative
Yes! To Affordable Groceries | April 30, 2018
A coalition of farmers, neighborhood businesses, workers, citizens and community organizations today launched a statewide signature gathering drive to certify a ballot initiative that would keep groceries affordable and free of new taxes.

Seattle taxes ranked most unfair in Washington — a state among the harshest on the poor nationwide
Seattle Times | April 12, 2018
“A household earning $25,000 in Seattle winds up paying about $4,200 in all the various state and local taxes, according to the report — that’s a staggering 17 percent of its income. But a $250,000-income household pays $11,000, which pencils out to just 4.4 percent of income. That’s a gap of 12.6 percentage points between the tax rates on high- and low-income households, the largest of any of the 15 cities studied.”

Beverage tax: Block efforts before they start
The News Tribune | April 1, 2018
As a long-time local food service employee, I’ve come to fear the possibility that a tax on beverages or other groceries could lead to me losing my job.

Does Boulder's $4M budget shortfall signify a blip or a new normal?
Daily Camera | March 28, 2018
Experts believe that growth in neighboring cities is taking shoppers out of Boulder — and there are plenty of citizens who point to the sugary drink tax, the plastic bag tax, plus traffic and parking issues, as additional reasons why people might not be as likely to flock to Boulder for commerce anymore.

Soft-drink makers push to ban local taxes on soda and food
Daily Herald | March 19, 2018
If producers of America’s favorite soft drinks have their way this fall, Seattle will be the only community with a soda tax in Washington in the future.

Proposed state initiative aims to ban soda taxes
King 5 News | March 19, 2018
The Daily Herald reports that the political committee, Yes! To Affordable Groceries, has submitted language for a proposed statewide initiative.

TV News Piece: Proposed state initiative aims to ban soda taxes
KIRO | March 19, 2018
A group backed by the soda industry is seeking to bar cities and counties in Washington state from imposing their own taxes on sodas or other sweetened beverages.

PRESS RELEASE: Coalition Submits Language for November Ballot Initiative Prohibiting New Local Grocery Taxes
Yes! To Affordable Groceries | March 15, 2018
Seattle, March 15, 2017 – In a significant step to deter taxes on groceries in Washington state, the Yes! To Affordable Groceries coalition today submitted language to the Washington State Secretary of State’s office for an initiative on the November ballot that will keep groceries affordable and free of new local taxes.

Beverage industry wants to block Seattle soda tax elsewhere
Seattle PI | March 15, 2018
A group sponsored by the American Beverage Association on Thursday submitted language for a statewide initiative on the November ballot that would block local taxes on beverages and other "everyday grocery products."

Jesse Jones investigates Seattle soda tax confusion
KTTH | March 14, 2018
After just three months, Seattle’s soda tax is proving to cause as much confusion as it did controversy when it first passed.

PRESS RELEASE: Ballot Committee Communications Update
Yes! To Affordable Groceries | March 12, 2018
This is the first in a series of updates to keep you informed of developments related to the effort to keep groceries affordable in the state of Washington through a ballot initiative that would prohibit new local taxes on groceries.

PRESS RELEASE: Coalition Statement on Formation of the Yes! To Affordable Groceries Committee
Yes! To Affordable Groceries | March 10, 2018
On Monday, the coalition Yes! To Affordable Groceries registered a ballot committee with Washington’s Public Disclosure Commission to forward a statewide ballot measure that will keep groceries affordable and free of new local taxes.

The bottled water tax is regressive, and solutions meant to help low-income people are fairly unknown.
Real Change | March 7, 2018
In August of 2017, the price of bottled water across the state of Washington went up.

Beverage industry starts campaign to stop Seattle’s soda tax from spreading
Seattle Times | March 7, 2018
After watching Seattle’s soda tax take effect last month, the beverage industry and its allies have begun an initiative campaign aimed at stopping other Washington communities from adopting similar taxes.

SURGE IN MEAT AND DAIRY PRICES COULD BE REASON TO GO VEGAN, SAYS REPORT
Live Kindly | March 2, 2018
Now might be the time to go vegan, according to a recent article by media publication Quartz. The news website has stated that financial reasons may be persuasion enough to adopt a plant-based lifestyle, given the increasing cost of meat.

Meat is not the ‘new tobacco’
Producer | March 1, 2018
It’s sensationalist to argue that meat should be taxed like tobacco because tobacco is not essential to life and food is.

Beverage industry, allies start campaign to stop Seattle’s soda tax from spreading
Seattle Times | February 28, 2018
After watching Seattle’s soda tax take effect last month, the beverage industry and its allies have begun an initiative campaign aimed at stopping other Washington communities from adopting similar taxes.

Let’s urge Congress to stop pushing poor dietary advice
Beef Magazine | February 27, 2018
Beef belongs at the center of the plate, and if we’re going to increase consumption, we better take it up with Congress.

Jesse Jones investigates restaurant outside city limits with soda tax surcharge.
KIRO | February 20, 2018
A McDonald's in King County has been giving its customers a little more than extra fries.
Apparently, the McDonald's on Des Moines Memorial Drive South has been charging customers Seattle's soda tax surcharge, when it shouldn't be.

Seattleites making a run to the border for … Coke?
Seattle Times | January 31, 2018
Ahmed Mohamed’s shop in the farthest reaches of West Seattle is so small you can easily miss it. But he’s nevertheless Ground Zero for Seattle’s latest economic experiment.

Seattleites Flock to White Center for Tax-Free Soda, Olympia Working on Sexual Harassment Policies
The Stranger | January 31, 2018
Is White Center a speakeasy for non-taxed soda? People are flocking to White Center for soda-tax breaks. A Bartell’s Drug Store just outside Seattle city limits boasts on their marquee that their sugary drinks are tax-free.

Business owners on city’s border say they’re suffering the most from the Sugar Tax
Westside Seattle | January 30, 2018
Area business owners are convinced that the sugar tax is having an unintended consequence: hurting the small shops that operate on the border of Seattle’s city limits.

The effects of Seattle’s soda tax are finally being realized — and business leaders are furious
The Blaze | January 27, 2018
The absurdity of Seattle’s new sugary drink tax was exposed earlier this month when adjusted Costco price labels made headlines nationwide. Thanks to the 1.75 cents per ounce tax, a 36-pack of soda at a Seattle Costco rose in price by 75 percent, while a 35-pack of gatorade raised by similar levels.

Small Businesses Aren’t Too Sweet on New Beverage Tax
Seattle Weekly | January 26, 2018
A Pizza Mart is a labor of love for Jagajit Singh Samra and his wife. In the 20 years that they’ve owned and operated the West Seattle small business, they’ve rarely taken time off, regularly work 12 hour days, and still barely make ends meet.

Pizza shop owner says Seattle's soda tax is costing him business
KIRO 7 | January 26, 2018
It hasn't been a full month since Seattle implemented its soda and sugary beverages tax, and one Seattle business owner has said that the tax is costing him his business. Businesses and consumers saw sticker shock immediately when the tax went into effect in early January.

Seattle soda tax costing businesses money, owners say
KING 5 | January 26, 2018
Seattle business owners expressed their concerns Friday about the city's recently-implemented tax on sugary drinks. "With the tax four weeks old, our fears are being realized. We call on the city council to address the needs of the community and workers and address this tax," said Peter Lam of Teamsters Local 174.