Recently some lawmakers have been pushing the idea of a food and beverage tax to fill their budget gaps. But voters and small businesspeople have caught on that it’s a bad idea and they’re rising up against it.

The local business community in Indiana is speaking out against a food and beverage tax that was proposed by representatives of Potawatomi Zoo in South Bend to pay for improvements to the zoo.

Small business people who own stores and restaurants complain that their livelihoods are being unfairly singled out for extra taxation. The added tax burden will hurt employment too at a time when the economy is suffering and jobs are scarce, they say. Why is it that every time the government needs money it looks to take more of it from overtaxed workers rather than tighten its own belt like families have to do?

"We are already one of the highest taxed counties in Indiana," Jeff Rea of the St. Joseph County Chamber of Commerce said in Wednesday’s joint meeting between Mishawaka and South Bend common councils and the St. Joseph County Council. "The savings from the property tax caps won't come on for a few years so our concern is adding an additional tax burden to what we already have."

A tax on food and beverage is also highly regressive; the poor and middle class pay a much higher share of their income on the tax than the wealthy.

"You have to stop asking us for money," Sharon Banicki told South Bend Tribune. The local resident said that the tax will be a heavy burden for those on a fixed income or on workers who have stagnate wages.

Instead of pushing for a tax that will raise prices on hardworking families and hurt jobs, lawmakers should consider who they are hurting and find a better way to solve financial problems other than making it harder for people to afford their groceries.

To find out more about how taxes are regressive and harm local businesses, visit The Truth About Beverage Taxes.