The beverage tax imposed on Philadelphians continues to hurt working families, small businesses and workers and is producing significantly less revenue than promised.
The beverage tax imposed on Philadelphians continues to hurt working families, small businesses and workers and is producing significantly less revenue than promised. So much so that the Wall Street Journal editorial board is calling the Philadelphia beverage tax a “bust.”
“The best laid plans of politicians often go awry, and then there's Philadelphia's soda tax,” says the editorial board, which points out that because of the tax businesses have been forced to lay off employees and sales have declined rapidly. As a result, the tax is not meeting lofty expectations set by politicians. “Actual soda tax collections in the first sixth months were already $6.9 million below the city’s estimate of $46.2 million,” says the editorial.
The people of Philadelphia were told by city leaders that the tax would fund pre-K, but as the Wall Street Journal highlights “only 49% of the revenue is going to pre-K in practice in the first five years while the rest is going to fund government worker benefits and other city programs.”
While politicians may attach big promises to misguided beverage taxes, the Wall Street Journal cautions, “...excise taxes don’t repeal the laws of economics.”