Business owner challenges Seattle soda tax

One business owner has a message for Mayor Ed Murray and his proposed tax on soda and other sugary drinks. KING 5'S Amy Moreno reports.

It's been pretty quiet around Seattle since Mayor Ed Murray proposed a tax on soda and other sugary drinks, but one small business owner is firing back.

Ryan Hopkins owns Burger Boss Drive-in and said he recently learned that the mayor’s idea could force him to raise prices on his large soda to more than $5.

He called City Hall, and when he didn’t get a response, he posted an eye-catching message outside his restaurant to get some attention. 

The sign says “HEY MR MAYOR $5 SODAS? UR POP TAX SUCKS!”

Hopkins says he's contacted the mayor in hopes of having a conversation but has yet to receive a response.

“It's a fairly large, and in my opinion, inappropriate tax on just one beverage or one sugar product when there's so many other ones out there” he explained.

Hopkins says, some days, drinks bring in about 25 percent of his profits. He’s also concerned that with Burien nearby, customers will go there to avoid the tax.   

The sign did catch the attention of customers with mixed opinions about the tax and whether Hopkins should voice his frustrations so publicly.

“He's got good food; I'll come whether I agree or disagree,” Lance Essex said.

Hopkins is hoping he’ll eventually get a meeting with the mayor and maybe get him to consider including other types of products in the tax and lessening the burden.

“You can go to Starbucks and people are buying a candy bar in a cup, is that going to be part of the tax? ” he said.

Hopkins admits he could add bottled water to the line-up at the Boss Drive-in but says most of his customers can't imagine grabbing a burger without a cold soda.

Copyright 2017 KING


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