Effective October 1, 2019, Washington, D.C. will begin to tax soft drinks at a higher rate of tax and expand the definition of soft drinks to include more beverages. Currently, soft drinks are taxed at a rate of 6 percent and soft drinks sold for immediate consumption at 10 percent. However, starting October 1, 2019, Washington, D.C. will tax soft drinks at 8 percent. Soft drinks sold for immediate consumption will remain taxable at 10 percent.
Washington, D.C. currently defines a soft drink as a "nonalcoholic beverage with artificial or natural sweeteners." Starting October 1, 2019, the definition will be expanded to include beverages with natural or artificial sweeteners that (1) contain less than 100 percent fruit juice, or (2) less than 50 percent milk, soy, rice, or similar milk substitutes.