For city coffers, Seattle soda tax looks like a winner: $10 million in 6 months. For consumers & businesses, maybe not so good.

In six months, Seattle’s controversial soda tax has poured more than $10 million into the city treasury, the Seattle Times reports.

Seattle has collected more than $10 million in the first six months of its tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, raising the possibility the tax could generate more money this year than anticipated. It’s so far unclear whether buying habits are changing.

Times reporter Daniel Beekman writes that a pre-tax survey found that most adults in Seattle supported the tax, though support was weaker “among black and Asian respondents and people with lower incomes.” So far, he adds, it’s not clear how the tax has affected consumer behavior.

…researchers have yet to complete analyses of consumption and sales patterns in the first months of the tax meant to discourage unhealthy choices, so they know nothing for certain about its impacts.

The researchers just released a “baseline report.

While the data are not yet conclusive,

Anecdotally, the tax seems to be deterring some consumers from buying sugary beverages in Seattle or at all, [University of Washington epidemiology professor Jesse]  Jones-Smith said.

“I’ve heard stories about sticker shock,” she said.

We’ve written about the tax previously, for example here and here. An initiative to preempt other cities from following Seattle’s lead, I-1634, has qualified for the fall ballot.