Find Posts By Topic

The Sweetened Beverage Tax Community Advisory Board (CAB) releases 2022 Annual Report

This blog post was contributed by the Sweetened Beverage Tax Community Advisory Board, which is supported by the Office of Sustainability & Environment. 

The Sweetened Beverage Tax Community Advisory Board (CAB), supported by the Office of Sustainability & Environment, is pleased to release its 2022 Annual Report marking the fifth year of Seattle’s Sweetened Beverage Tax (SBT).  

The SBT was passed in 2017 to improve the health of Seattle residents by reducing the sales and consumption of sugary drinks. Drinks like soda, fruit drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened coffees and teas are the No. 1 source of added sugar in American diets. Sugary drinks are a major driver of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease and yet the beverage industry aggressively promotes these products and uses predatory marketing practices, targeting communities of color. Reducing sales of sugary drinks will reduce health inequities.  

After five years of implementation, the SBT is working as intended: 

  • Revenue from the tax – about $22 million annually – is equitably invested in low income communities and communities of color to expand programs that increase food and nutrition security and that support child development and early learning. 

The CAB is an advisory body established by the tax legislation to advise the Mayor and City Council on how SBT revenues are invested. We are proud of our accomplishments over the last five years which include: 

  • Developing 24 high-impact, values-based budget recommendations that ensured the equitable investment of tax revenues in communities most impacted by health and educational injustices. 
  • Successfully advocated for a separate City budget fund (SBT Fund 00155) and budget legislation to protect the use of SBT revenue and make tax collection and spending easier to monitor. 
  • Worked with the City to establish two new grant programs designed to invest in projects and solutions designed and led by priority communities—the Food Equity Fund ($3 million/year) Prenatal-to-Three Grant Program ($1.5 million/year). 
  • Worked with the City to redirect $5 million SBT revenues to emergency food assistance during the first two weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Advised on major expansions of the Fresh Bucks program, Farm to Preschool, and the creation of the Healthy Food in Schools program. 

The last five years set a solid foundation for a successful SBT. At the same time, the SBT Fund has been a volatile fund source and faced revenue gaps. Looking ahead, we remain committed to monitoring SBT investments through an equity and resilience lens and will continue to advocate for equitable and progressive funding solutions for the city’s food security and child development programs. 

We hope you take a moment to learn more about what SBT investments are doing in your community by reading our 2022 Annual Report.   


Tanika Thompson Bird and Jen Moss, Sweetened Beverage Tax Community Advisory Board Co-Chairs