We’ve said it time and time again: beverage taxes are regressive and detrimental to small businesses. Grocery bills for working families would be more expensive and small-business owners will lose income or hike prices on their customers.
According to an article in the Bay City News in Oakland, Calif., Abdul Taleb, a small-business owner in Oakland, said the cost of a proposed tax of 1 cent per ounce on soft drinks would force him to raise prices on every item in his store, not just beverages. That would hurt his customers.
Taleb is not alone in pointing out the negatives of soda taxes. The proposed tax is opposed by more than 280 storeowners, all of whom would have to take similar action to stay afloat.
Lawmakers should find other ways to solve budget issues than by adding to the tax burdens of families and small-business owners. These taxes cost jobs, threaten the livelihoods of small-businesspeople and hit lower-income families the hardest.