Spring training for the Philadelphia Phillies kicks off today in Clearwater, Fla., reigniting hope in a city that's struggling to make ends meet during a recession. In Philadelphia, however, Mayor Nutter is presenting an inadequate solution to his own budget woes - a proposal to place taxes on soft drinks and other beverages.

This new tax on beverages would be highly regressive, and is clearly nothing more than a money grab. In today's troubled economic times, it's not the right time to raise taxes on hard-working families. Philadelphia is already experiencing double-digit unemployment rates. The beverage industry supports more than 2,000 good paying jobs in the Philadelphia area. It makes no sense to put even more local jobs at risk.

We, along with many others in the City of Brotherly Love, believe that now is not the time to raise prices on the items in our grocery carts. Families can't afford to pay another penny.

We understand that Philadelphia's budget shortfall is not to be taken lightly. But there is a better way to balance the budget than to place the financial burden on the backs of hard-working citizens. This off-season has been tough enough for Philly fans.