Soda Tax Sticker Shock Grips Seattle

The sign at Costco explaining the jacked-up price of a case of Gatorade has gone viral.

On January 1, Seattle had several new progressive laws go into effect. Along with mandatory paid sick leave, mandates for employers to post work schedules 14 days in advance, and severe restrictions on short-term rental platforms (Airbnb, VRBO, etc.), Seattle imposed a massive new soda tax — 1.75 cents per OUNCE on sugary drinks.

In response, at least one major retailer advertised in detail the reason for the significant increase in prices.

Costco, famous for selling products in bulk quantities, faces especially stiff price increases. On the previously mentioned pallet of 35 bottles of Gatorade, a list price of $15.99 is taxed $10.34, with a total cost of $26.33. Signs all over the Seattle stores list the tax separately, and then have another sign offering solutions to the consumer: