Last night, the Baltimore City Council and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake increased taxes on hard-working families in Baltimore…again. What was originally put in place as a 2 cents tax on all beverage containers (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) for a three-year period has now been extended as lawmakers in Baltimore procedurally cleared the way to expand the tax by 150 percent and make it permanent.
As we’ve said before, it is a regressive tax that will further hurt Baltimore City’s retailers and soft drink manufacturers – and place an additional burden on hard-working families still caught in a difficult economy. This is more proof that these types of taxes are nothing more than a money grab to pay for more government.
Members of the Stop the Baltimore City Beverage Tax coalition are speaking out. In a coalition news release, Rob Santoni, of Santoni’s Market, said: “The decision to pass the beverage tax has put the last few independent grocery store families at risk and leaves us struggling to compete … Three new grocery stores have opened in the past three months within a mile of the City line. They have a competitive advantage because they aren’t forced to pay the beverage tax.”
We believe there are better ways to deal with the very serious financial situation in Baltimore City’s budget than placing the burden on the backs of hard-working families. But don’t just take our word for it – see what small business owners and Baltimore taxpayers are saying on Facebook.