Philadelphia isn’t the only place the unpopularity of the city’s new tax on more than 1,000 beverages is a hot topic. The consumer backlash to the tax is receiving attention nationwide, including by the New Hampshire Union Leader which said in an editorial, “Using the tax code to micromanage consumer behavior is just wrong.”
The Union Leader has also taken notice of the magnitude of the tax. “Well, that tax works out to almost $2 per gallon, and in many cases is being directly passed on to consumers,” wrote the editorial board. “That could double the price of a two-liter bottle.”
The paper recognizes that these are not taxes people want but rather taxes being pushed upon them by outsiders, some with deep pockets, who claim they know what’s best for everyone else. According to the editorial board, “[Michael] Bloomberg spent $18 million last year in support of soda taxes in Oakland and San Francisco. He spent $1.6 million to push the new Philadelphia soda taxes.”
Rather than improving the lives of residents, these taxes squeeze middle class families already on tight budgets. They also make it harder for local businesses to stay afloat as consumers take their grocery shopping elsewhere.
The evidence is clear – taxes don’t make people healthier, just poorer. What does work is government, industry and public health working together on solutions that will bring about true, lasting change. America’s beverage companies are committed to being a part of the solution by driving a reduction in sugar and calories people get from beverages. We are providing the new beverage options, information and encouragement to help people cut back on calories and sugar and we are doing it in places with some of the highest rates of obesity in the nation like the Mississippi Delta and rural Alabama. This is the hard work necessary to change behavior and make a difference in communities across the nation.