Press Clips: Seattle Approves Head Tax to Corporations Chagrin

Seattle Approves Head Tax to Corporations Chagrin

Both Amazon and Starbucks are reeling from the Seattle City Council’s vote last week to approve a controversial head tax on large businesses which will fund programs for the city’s rising homeless population.

Seattle-based radio station KOMO reported that the council’s unanimous 9-0 approval of the tax — predicted to raise more than $48 million annually — has riled Amazon and Starbucks executives who fought against the measure.

Prior to the vote, Amazon had paused construction on two projects in the city, ostensibly as a challenge to the Council.

“We are disappointed by today’s City Council decision to introduce a tax on jobs,” Amazon VP Drew Herdener said in a statement. “While we have resumed construction planning for Block 18, we remain very apprehensive about the future created by the council’s hostile approach and rhetoric toward larger businesses, which forces us to question our growth here.”

Starbucks, which has often positioned itself as a politically progressive corporation, also attacked the city for targeting the private sector while failing to properly allocate its own resources and funds.

“This City continues to spend without reforming and fail without accountability, while ignoring the plight of hundreds of children sleeping outside,” said John Kelly, SVP for Starbucks Global Public Affairs and Social Impact. “If they cannot provide a warm meal and safe bed to a five year-old child, no one believes they will be able to make housing affordable or address opiate addiction. This City pays more attention to the desires of the owners of illegally parked RVs than families seeking emergency shelter.”

The tax charges large businesses making more than $20 million annually $275 per employee. It is slated to go into effect on January 1, 2019 and will expire in 2024.

Two-thirds of the funds collected are designated to be spent on new housing, while the rest will be spent on rental subsidies and garbage collection services. Seattle’s homeless crisis is considered amongst the worst in the United States.

Due to slim profit margins, the tax also threatens to take a significant toll on the grocery sector. Albertsons has announced it will close two Seattle stores due to the increasing costs of city regulations.

The tax has been unpopular with many in Washington and state level politicians, including former Governor Christine Gregoire, have slammed it as a “tax on jobs.” On Friday a group of small business owners launched a referendum campaign to repeal the tax before it takes effect. The group need to collect roughly 18,000 signatures by June 15.

New Study Warns Parents Against Giving Kids Sports Drinks

Studies calling out the potential health risks associated with sugary beverages are nothing new, and sports drinks are once again under fire following the publication of a new study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study found that the amount of high school aged teens consuming sugary sports drink rose by two points to 58 percent between 2010 and 2015. However, while the number of teens consuming sports drinks has increased, those who said they drink one every day decreased from 16 percent to 14 percent.

According to ABC News, critics of the sports drink category point to the study as another example of why teenagers should consume water for hydration and avoid sugary beverages, said to lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other health issues.

Study: Drinking Coffee In Groups Makes You Feel Good

A new study out of UC Davis has found that drinking coffee in groups while attempting to complete a task leads people to feel better about their individual and group performance.

According to Daily Coffee News, researchers studied approximately 70 U.S. university students, giving some groups coffee 30 minutes before a group discussion and other groups coffee after the discussion. The study found people drinking coffee prior to the discussion were more focused, involved, and felt more positively about their performance after the discussion ended.

Illy Coffee Cans Recalled

Roughly 65,000 cans of Illy coffee have been recalled, but not for food safety concerns.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission urged for a recall of the cans due to a flaw in the design where the can’s lid can detach suddenly and with force, posing a hazard, the Miami Herald reported this month.

Illy has since issued a recall, although no injuries have been reported. The recall covers medium roast cans with expiration dates ranging between October to December 2019, dark roast cans expiring in October or November 2019, and decaffeinated cans expiring in October 2019.

PETA Joins Fight Against Dairy Pride Act

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) launched a new campaign Monday in response to the Dairy Pride Act, the piece of legislation working its way through the U.S. Congress which would force a crack down on dairy alternative products using terms such as “milk,” “cheese,” and “yogurt” on labels.

PETA, which urges consumers to adopt vegan diets, plans to place coffee cup sleeves in cafes in seven states urging consumers to “De-calf” their coffee by using plant-based milks and creamers, according to a press release. The campaign targets stores in New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Ohio, California, Idaho, and Wisconsin.

Tri-Meow? Trimino Super Troopers Ads Go Online

After purchasing screen time in the film comedy Super Troopers 2, ads for protein-infused water brand Trimino filmed by the movie’s cast have finally hit the internet. The company has posted a commercial and a clip from the movie featuring the brand to its YouTube page.

Trimino CMO Bob Leary, who is an executive producer on the film, told BevNET last month the ads did not draw from Trimino’s marketing budget and are supplemental to the brand’s regular 2018 advertising strategy.

“When somebody asked me if I wanted to invest in it, I couldn’t turn Super Troopers down,” he said in April. “Any opportunity that I get when I’m investing in a movie to get Trimino product placement, I jump on it.”