Our followers in Pennsylvania will probably be familiar with the recent proposal from Philadelphia lawmakers to add a new tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. We know what you’re thinking – didn’t a similar proposal fail miserably in Philadelphia last year? Well, you’re right. And honestly, we don’t know why the Mayor and City Council are taking another look at it - especially when families in Philadelphia are already struggling to make ends meet. They can’t afford any new taxes on top of other rising expenses.
There could not be a worse time to ask hardworking families to pay more for their groceries. With an unemployment rate of nearly 10 percent, this is not the time to add to the burden of hardworking families.
We saw an editorial in today’s Philadelphia Daily News, and thought we’d share this excerpt:
“…a 2 cents-per-ounce tax on sugared drinks still stinks, because it's based on the same faulty premise as the original proposal a year ago. Because the city can't impose a directed sales tax without approval from Harrisburg, this would be an excise tax on retailers who sell sugary drinks. Retailers will have to calculate how many drinks they sell, how many of those are sugared and report that amount to the city. That could be an accounting headache for smaller retailers; by the time they have to pass this tax onto consumers, retailers could decide it's easier to spread the hike across all products, not just sugared soda. And vending machines that don't have tiered pricing for water, soda and nonsugary soda will have to be replaced or the price of all drinks will have to be raised.”
The Mayor and City Council needs to find a way to get control of their own spending habits without piling on more taxes. The people of Philadelphia can decide what’s best for their families without government help.