This week, an op-ed ran in The Arizona Republic reminding Arizonans that taxes on beverages are no sweet treat. One only needs to look at the recent repeal of a beverage tax in Cook County to see why. Record numbers of residents not only opposed the tax but “79 percent of residents said they would be less likely to re-elect a commissioner who voted for the tax.”
Why were residents so fired up? “Simply put, people caught on that the beverage tax hurt working-class people hardest and did not live up to the revenue promises… Higher costs had a dramatic negative impact on retailers in the city and the county,” wrote Tim McCabe, president of the Arizona Food Marketing Alliance. “As beverage and overall sales declined, many retailers in Cook County were forced to cut hours and lay off employees. The equivalent of hundreds of jobs in Philadelphia have been lost due to layoffs or the cutting of hours.”
The op-ed continues, pointing out what happened in Santa Fe where voters rejected a proposed beverage tax. “Last May in Santa Fe voters turned out in record numbers to vote against a soda tax by a 58 percent margin… people saw that the revenue would come at a great cost to their wallets as well as the many local stores and restaurants that provide employment for thousands of people.”
Instead of arbitrary taxes, we must seek a better way - not only for Arizona but for all communities across our nation.
To read the full op-ed, click here.