Yesterday in Philadelphia, we saw more evidence of how unpopular Mayor Michael Nutter's proposal to tax soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages has become. Philly Jobs. Not Taxes. - a coalition of business and store owners, union workers and individuals united against new grocery taxes - held a rally on the steps of Philadelphia City Hall to further that point. In fact, gathering at the apron of City Hall, members of the coalition and City Council spoke to a crowd of roughly 200 people, urging the Mayor to bury his proposal once and for all.
Speakers on-hand to lay out the negative impact this proposal would have on city residents included: Danny Grace, Secretary-Treasurer and business manager of Teamsters Local Union 830; Rushdi Mohamed, owner of Cousin's Market in North Philadelphia; Philadelphia City Council Minority Leader Brian J. O'Neill, R-10th District; and Philadelphia City Council Minority Whip Frank Rizzo Jr.
"Families are stretching their budgets further than ever before," Mohamed said in a press release from the coalition. "I see this at my stores every day, and I know that Philadelphians cannot afford to pay any more money for their groceries. The beverage tax that is being considered by the City Council and the Mayor is just plain wrong. Taxing hardworking Philadelphians right now, in the middle of a recession, is wrong. The timing is simply wrong."
Adding to the flurry of written statements, articles and editorials that have been coming out of Philadelphia opposing the tax is an opinion piece by Villanova Law Professor James Maule that appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer yesterday.
We'll continue to keep you up-to-date with the happenings in Philadelphia as more and more residents of the City of Brotherly Love voice their opinion, overwhelmingly in opposition to this regressive tax.