"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -Aldous Huxley

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wMonday, September 15, 2003

WHY SEATTLEITES ARE CRAZY: Tech Central Station has a piece by yours truly today on how the latte levy, in addition to being evil, may not add up to a huge windfall for the children:

[I]f preschool did make an important difference, I-77 still wouldn't make a huge dent. Supporters expect the levy will raise $7-10 million a year, but those figures are somewhat optimistic, to say the least. The city of Seattle estimates a much smaller windfall ($1.8-3.4 million). And the city's estimate may be over-optimistic yet, because it doesn't factor in things that could change espresso drinkers' buying patterns.

To wit, drinkers with limited pocket change may prefer one venti to two talls. For those who can choose between buying espresso coffee in Seattle or in the surrounding suburbs, the financial incentives will shift ever so slightly. Since drip coffee is a) cheaper and b) not subject to the espresso tax, well, there's more than one way to deliver the drug of choice of tens of thousands of Seattleites. Also, for reasons I'll explain shortly, there may soon be significantly fewer outlets in the Emerald City at which lattes may be purchased, further crimping sales and tax revenues.

Purely attitudinal factors may also work to drive down latte tax revenues. In an earlier digression on this topic, I joked about the "angry latte sipping male" demographic. But the reality of mass tax protests in Seattle is quite startling. A lot of latte drinkers and coffee shop owners are mad as hell and will be very, very reluctant to fork over the dime per cup that the referendum requires. [more]

posted by Jeremy at 9:42 AM