We at Sip & Savor recognize that, just like our federal government, states and cities across the nation are struggling to fill budget gaps. And while we also recognize the need to balance the budget, we know there is a better way to do so than to target one portion of the items in our grocery cart for additional taxation. We're not alone in this line of thinking. In fact, just yesterday on WHYY Philadelphia, City Controller Alan Butkovitz discussed a recent budget proposal to tax soft drinks in the City of Brotherly Love.
"Philadelphia just went on this wild ride last year of having to ask the state to change the sales tax and it pushed us on the verge of bankruptcy of not being able to have the money to pay our bills," Butkovitz said. "Under state law, Philadelphia would have to ask permission for a soda tax. It's a bad idea after going through the experience so recently to go on that roller coaster ride again."
We couldn’t agree more. A discriminatory and regressive tax on sugar-sweetened beverages is nothing more than a money grab. It proved unpopular in Maine when voters repealed a similar tax on beverages in 2008, and in New York where the Governor himself withdrew the proposal early last year.
In today's economy, hard-working families are already struggling to make ends meet. Adding the additional burden of plugging a hole in the budget with a tax to people’s grocery bills just isn’t right.