Since the implementation of a 1.5 cents-per-ounce beverage tax in Philadelphia, the tax has brought job loss, harm to local businesses and unfulfilled promises. First, the regressive tax was marketed by Mayor Jim Kenney as a way to fund pre-K but it was later revealed that less than half would actually go to pre-K. Now it has been revealed in an article from local news outlet BillyPenn that the city is $20 million short of its $46 million goal for the 2017 fiscal year. The city has admitted there is no possibility of reaching its goal and is lowering its revenue projections as a result.
“The city has yet to achieve its full collections target and is once again changing the goalposts to obscure the fact that this tax is not a sustainable source of revenue for the city. This latest move by the administration highlights the undeniable flaws in a failed tax that is costing jobs, raising prices for working families and hurting local business,” Anthony Campisi, spokesperson for Ax The Bev Tax told BillyPenn.
City Controller Alan Butkovitz also expressed his concern with the “current and future projection shortfalls” from the soda tax’s revenues in a letter to Rob Dubow, the city’s finance director.
“The city appears to be creating a short-term and long-term deficit through the Beverage Tax,” he wrote, “by not budgeting with true and accurate collection figures.”
When will politicians listen to the concerns of their constituents and learn from their mistakes? Before passing regressive taxes, politicians should think about the consequences and the people their policies will be hurting the most.