A little over a week has passed since Philadelphia’s new 1.5 cent per ounce tax on beverages took effect and consumers and storeowners are feeling the burden of the discriminatory and regressive tax.

According to an article on FOX News, the tax not only covers beverages with sugar but also low-calorie beverages, juice and even milk substitutes for lactose-intolerant people.

“The magnitude of this tax is historic and Philadelphian consumers can’t afford it,” David McCorkle, CEO of the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association told FOX News.

Some posts on twitter already suggest that Philadelphians are going outside the city limits to do their shopping. This shopping shift could be detrimental to the small storeowners who are already operating on thin margins.

“If Philadelphians shop outside the city, sales decline, not only in the beverage category, but in all categories,” stated McCorkle. “I think the city needs to take a hard look at the potential impact, and we suspect that if store revenue declines, cuts have to be made somewhere.”

The evidence is clear – food and beverage taxes have been tried and they have failed to improve public health or reduce obesity. And in the end, these taxes harm consumers and businesses who can least afford them.