A proposed beverage tax in St. Helens, Ore., has business owners and families worried. In places like Cook County and Philadelphia, these discriminatory measures have shown to be extremely unpopular, have done significant damage to local businesses and continue to miss the mark.
In a recent opinion article in The Chronicle, Theresa Montoya, owner of the Columbia Tavern in the small Oregon town is speaking out against the tax and saying, “the decisions that the council members make have real consequences.”
The proposed 2 cents-per-ounce tax would harm local stores and mean higher prices for customers. “The effects would not just be on small businesses, but on every citizen of St. Helens,” says Montoya. “It will increase financial burdens on families living paycheck to paycheck.”
There are better ways for a city to live within its budget rather than creating a heavy tax that targets working hankies, their jobs and their wallets. “What will happen to St. Helens when those of us left can’t sustain the costs anymore?” Montoya asks.
Experience tells us there are no upsides to these job-killing taxes. Montoya suggests, “the City Council should be thinking how to make it easier for businesses to start a business here, not harder.”