OLYMPIA, WA -- In a big Election Day win for Washington state operators, voters put an end to a state tax hike on food and beverages passed earlier this year.
Washingtonians approved Initiative 1107, which rolls back higher taxes on soft drinks, candy, gum, bottled water and certain processed foods. The tax, which lawmakers expected to generate $300 million over the next three years, will be lifted in December.
Opponents of the tax hike, including the National Confectioners Association, said it was discriminatory, since it applied to confections like Snickers and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, but exempted those that contain flour, like Kit Kat and Twix. They also argued that the taxes put an undue burden on retailers and consumers.
Members of the vending industry in Washington actively participated in the "Yes on 1107 Coalition," which consists of retailers, beverage companies, business associations and consumer groups, by posting information on their machines to educate their customers about the initiative and encourage them to vote in its favor.
The Northwest Automatic Vending Association's Washington legislative consultant also worked closely with the American Beverage Association, the primary backer of the $16.8 million campaign to garner support.