POINT OF VIEW: Small businesses don’t need another tax

  • Sunday, April 25, 2021 1:30am
  • Opinion
Ed Bedford

Ed Bedford

WE ALWAYS SAY that Bedford’s Sodas, born in Port Angeles and serving stores and restaurants across the United States, bring people together.

That was especially important during the worst of the pandemic, when small businesses made it through because of the support from our community.

But the pandemic is far from over, and local businesses like mine continue to struggle. If we’re going to fully recover, the last thing we need is more financial burdens.

The beverage tax proposed by the Washington State Legislature would be a huge obstacle to recovery for small businesses like mine. We’re just now trying to overcome losses from an economically devastating pandemic. Imposing a harmful beverage tax would make it hard for my company to continue producing our premium sodas.

This legislation would place a tax of 1.75 cent-per-fluid ounce on any beverage with caloric sweetener. That adds up to quite a lot for consumers, and it would disproportionately impact small, local businesses whose futures have already been jeopardized by the pandemic.

This large tax would increase the price of every one of Bedford’s Sodas’ 12-ounce bottles by 21 cents, or $5.04 for a case of 24.

Such a drastic tax hike would force us to raise our prices, which would put my company at risk along with the livelihoods of stores and the restaurants who rely on our products.

During a year of limited business, the state should be focusing on how it can help small companies recover, not how to raise money off those very same struggling businesses. Passing a beverage tax now would make it even harder for working families to afford their grocery bills.

Our political leaders should already know that beverage taxes in Washington are unpopular, and have been even before the pandemic severely impacted the economy. In 2010 and again in 2018, Washington residents voted against similar statewide taxes.

Despite the clear opposition of their constituents, some legislators in Olympia are still trying to move forward with legislation that is not supported by the majority of Washington’s voters.

It’s time for our elected leaders to respect the views of Washingtonians rather than forcing another harmful tax on us.

I’m proud of the company I’ve built. I’m glad that I’ve had the chance to share my passion for the unique sodas with wonderful flavors with people throughout the Northwest. Small businesses are built by people who love what they make and want to share it with others; they are essential to every community and I’ll do everything I can to help them survive.

This is why we ask for help from our communities. Please tell the Washington State Legislature to vote NO on SB 5371.

________

Ed Bedford is the founder and president of Bedford’s Sodas of Port Angeles.

More in Opinion

PAT NEAL: Try not to get lost

Who says there is no good news these days? A lost backpacker… Continue reading

LETTER: Hard to believe

I am deeply disturbed about the Sequim City Council’s recent resolution. It… Continue reading

LETTER: Personal responsibility

I would ask the crowd of anti-vax/anti-mask advocates who threatened Dr. Allison… Continue reading

PAT NEAL: Disaster Preparedness month

By now we’ve all about had it up to here with the… Continue reading

“Alone Together," edited by Jennifer Haupt, is a collection of essays penned in the time of COVID-19.
Book collects COVID-19 experience

It’s a strange sensation to hold this book in my hands now.… Continue reading

POINT OF VIEW: Current COVID surge is a self-inflicted wound

COVID-19 is raging in Clallam County at unprecedented levels. In the past… Continue reading

PAT NEAL: The happiness of fall chores

Autumn must be my favorite time of year. When the Olympic Mountains… Continue reading

OUR VIEW: Join in fighting common enemy

The enemy isn’t Dr. Allison Berry or Dr. Anthony Fauci. It isn’t… Continue reading

Anne Liu Kellor of Seattle is author of "Heart Radical" on She Writes Press.
Stories create connection between strangers

This summer I traveled to China and spoke, with effort, in Chinese… Continue reading

PAT NEAL: Appreciate the labor of nation’s health care workers

Dealing with the crush of vacationing hordes that invaded the Olympic Peninsula… Continue reading

PAT NEAL: Rough bar conditions

It was daylight on the water. A heaving deck and the smell… Continue reading

LETTER: Stay away from others

I have been an activist for freedom and for people’s rights all… Continue reading