Beverage taxes are deeply unpopular with the public because they result in higher prices for families, drastically decrease sales for small businesses and put the jobs of hardworking people at risk. In an opinion piece published in the Philadelphia Inquirer president of the Illinois Food Retailers Association Brian Jordan explains why Philadelphia leaders should follow the lead of Cook County elected officials and repeal the city’s harmful beverage tax.
Jordan said the Cook County repeal came after “seven commissioners who had previously supported the tax changed their votes after hearing the outrage from angry residents in their districts.” He went on to say, “commissioners who supported the repeal have been near-universally celebrated.”
According to Jordan, more than 85 percent of residents supported repeal of the tax and nearly 79 percent said they would be less likely to reelect for a commissioner who had voted in favor of the tax.
The Cook County repeal follows a string of defeats for beverage taxes. “The repeal of Cook County’s beverage tax targeting working families and small businesses was the sixth time since the beginning of 2017 that elected officials or voters rejected a beverage tax in the United States,” wrote Jordan.
The Cook County repeal shows what is possible when people make their voices heard and their elected officials listen. “We know Philadelphia residents, retailers, restaurants, and businesses are doing the same — and hope their elected officials, too, will soon listen and repeal Philadelphia’s devastating beverage tax,” said Jordan.