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Letters to the Editor - August 13, 2018

  • Written by Readers
INITIATIVE 1634
 
“I was surprised by David Clark’s August 7 article, which seemed to cast doubt that Washington Initiative 1634 “would protect hard-working families and neighborhood businesses from grocery taxes.” I am a neighborhood business owner, and a proud member of the Yes! To Affordable Groceries coalition.
 
When Washingtonians voted to make food and beverages off limits from taxation 30 years ago, it was because we believed these items should remain as affordable as possible so they’re accessible to all families. But the recent Seattle beverage tax provides a blueprint for how local governments can now work around these restrictions. In implementing the tax, I have had to raise prices on more than just soda pop – in order to stay competitive and keep my customers, I’ve offset costs by increasing the prices on other grocery items like juice, tea and coffee. I wish I didn’t have to, but those are the tough choices small businesses have to make.
 
A few years ago, no one would have ever thought that orange juice and iced tea would be taxed. But it is happening. What’s next? I’ve read about proposals for taxes on dairy farmers and cattle growers who produce staples for refrigerators and pantries.
 
I-1634 would protect us from this end run around the sales tax restrictions on grocery items. Taxes on food and beverages hurt hard-working families and small businesses the most and it’s time we put an end to the threat they pose.
 
George O’Connor
Ken’s Market QA - Seattle

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