The City of Seattle Sweetened Beverage Tax (SBT) is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2018 for those selling sweetened beverages within the City of Seattle.  The tax amount is 1.75 cents-per-ounce on sweetened beverages containing 40 or more calories per 12-ounce serving and payable by the Distributor on taxable product first delivered into the City of Seattle for sale to another distributor or retailer.  As such, Odom and NW Beverages LLC will register with the City, include the amount of the tax on your invoice, and then remit and file SBT returns.

The tax applies to any beverage that lists as an ingredient any sugar-sweetened beverage product, including bottle-can products and the syrup used to make the fountain versions of those products.  To be taxable, the finished beverage product must contain 40 calories or more per 12 ounces.  For fountain syrup, tax is imposed on the largest volume in fluid ounces of taxable beverages that could be produced from the syrup based on manufacturer’s instructions.  This table illustrates taxable products and tax amounts.

The following may be exempt from the tax: 

  • Any beverage that contains fewer than 40 calories per 12-ounce serving (including those with less than 4mg sugar)
  • 100% fruit and vegetable drinks
  • “Milk products” as defined in the Seattle Ordinance
  • Infant and/or baby formula
  • Any alcoholic beverage
  • Beverages for medical use
  • Any liquid sold for use as a meal replacement for weight reduction or other purposes
  • Unsweetened drinks, including unsweetened drinks to which a purchaser can add, or can request that a seller add, sugar, at the point of sale
  • Small suppliers (under $5MM annual revenue) may submit requests for reduced tax or tax exemption to the City of Seattle

Beginning with deliveries on January 2, 2018 to Seattle locations, invoices will include SBT tax amounts for beverages subject to the Seattle tax (see example here).

For more information on this tax, please visit the City of Seattle website here.