Seattle (Sept. 19, 2002) -- It looks like a proposed dime-a-cup tax on espresso is causing a "brewhaha" in the city that Starbucks built.

Seattle City Council members moved to keep off this year’s ballot a public vote on Initiative 77, a proposed dime-a-cup tax on espresso drinks to raise money for preschool and daycare programs, The Seattle Times reported.

The proposed tax would apply only to espresso drinks, not regular drip coffee. Businesses with gross receipts of less than $50,000 and nonprofit organizations would be exempt.

Backers of the initiative used paid signature gatherers to collect 30,000 signatures this summer, well above the 17,228 needed to get the measure on a ballot, but couldn't force the council to act before a deadline to put the measure on the November ballot, according to the report.

Members of the business community, including the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, which donated $12,000 to the effort, have joined to form an opposition campaign, Joined to Oppose the Latte Tax (JOLT). Meanwhile, supporters have organized as the Early Learning and Care Campaign Committee, buoyed by $76,000 in contributions, the report said.

-- Electronic Accountant Newswire staff

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