Budget & Finance

Ed. Advocates Brew Support For Seattle Espresso Tax

By Linda Jacobson — September 10, 2003 1 min read

Early-childhood-education advocates in Seattle, the home of the Starbucks Coffee Corp., are hoping to tap espresso as a source of revenue for preschool programs.

Voters in the 570,000-resident city will decide next week whether to approve a 10-cent tax on espresso and other specialty coffee drinks to be used for expanding prekindergarten programs and providing more low-income families with child-care subsidies.

The tax could bring in more than $6 million a year, organizers of the Sept. 16 ballot measure predict. If Initiative 77 passes, a portion of the proceeds would also be used to create a program to reward both center- and home-based child-care providers with higher pay if they earn more education.

Supporters say they are fighting an uphill battle against the Seattle Chamber of Commerce and others who argue that the tax would hurt businesses.

“This is basically a grassroots campaign,” said Laura Paskin, a spokeswoman for the Economic Opportunity Institute, a nonprofit organization based in Seattle and one of the sponsors of the initiative.

The tax would cover drinks such as lattes, mochas, and similar menu items, but would not apply to regular drip coffee. And businesses earning less than $50,000 annually in gross receipts would not be subject to the tax.

Opponents say that such a levy would set a bad pattern.

In a statement, the chamber of commerce said: “Instituting this type of specialty tax unrelated to the program it would fund could set precedence for other specialty taxes, resulting in a tax system where citizens pay different tax rates depending on the products they buy, the services they use, or the businesses they frequent.”

Randy Pepple, a spokesman for JOLT, which stands for Joined in Opposition to the Latte Tax, added that opponents of the proposal are not against improving early-childhood programs.

“Child care is far too important an issue to depend on a specialty tax like this,” Mr. Pepple said.

Related Tags:

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Professional Development Webinar
Building Leadership Excellence Through Instructional Coaching
Join this webinar for a discussion on instructional coaching and ways you can link your implement or build on your program.
Content provided by Whetstone Education/SchoolMint
Teaching Webinar Tips for Better Hybrid Learning: Ask the Experts What Works
Register and ask your questions about hybrid learning to our expert panel.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Families & the Community Webinar
Family Engagement for Student Success With Dr. Karen Mapp
Register for this free webinar to learn how to empower and engage families for student success featuring Karen L. Mapp.
Content provided by Panorama Education & PowerMyLearning

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Hiring Bilingual and Special Education Teachers NOW!
Newark, New Jersey
Newark Public Schools
DevOps Engineer
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association
User Experience Analyst
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association
Senior Business Analyst - 12 Month Contract
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association

Read Next

Budget & Finance Districts Anxious About Plunge in Meal-Program Applicants
Free and reduced-price meal data is a key proxy for school poverty. But administrators say a drop in applications paints a false picture and could threaten funding.
6 min read
Karina Galan, a school bus driver with Mt. Diablo Unified School District, carries several bags of pre-packaged meals to distribute to a family in Concord, Calif. The district is stressing to parents the importance of filling out applications for participation in the free and reduced-price meals program at a time when the number of formal applications have dropped off.
Karina Galan, a school bus driver with Mt. Diablo Unified School District, carries several bags of pre-packaged meals to distribute to a family in Concord, Calif. The district is stressing to parents the importance of filling out applications for participation in the free and reduced-price meals program at a time when the number of formal applications have dropped off.
Brittany Hosea-Small for Education Week
Budget & Finance Tax Higher Incomes to Fund Schools? National Debate Gets Traction at the State Level
Arguments over an Arizona ballot measure mirror calls at the national level to raise taxes for "the 1 percent" to increase education funding.
3 min read
Budget & Finance Lawmakers Push Plan to Protect School Jobs From Pandemic Cuts
The new proposal resembles an education jobs program signed by President Barack Obama in 2010, but it would be much bigger.
4 min read
Budget & Finance Judge Orders Census Bureau to Keep Counting. Here's Why That Matters for Schools
Accurate census data is tied to billions of dollars of federal education aid. A federal judge told officials this week that they can't shorten the timeline for the count.
2 min read