By imposing a beverage/soda tax in Philadelphia the legislature is causing businesses to layoff employees. Burdensome taxes lead to unemployment and hurt Americans.
Pepsi announced last week that they will lay off around 100 employees at distribution plants that supply the Philadelphia area. This is the latest blow for the city’s new beverage tax, which went into effect in January.
“Unfortunately, after careful consideration of the economic realities created by the recently enacted beverage tax, we have been forced to give notice that we intend to eliminate 80 to 100 positions, including frontline and supervisory roles,” Pepsi spokesman Dave Dececco said, according to Philly.com.
However, the layoffs could be quickly reversed if the beverage tax is abandoned, according to DeCecco.
“If the tax is struck down or repealed, we plan to bring people back to work,” DeCecco said, according to Reuters.
The tax is currently under appeal in the Commonwealth Court, with arguments anticipated to begin in early April.
Although it is commonly known as the “soda tax,” the law also includes all “non-100 percent-fruit drinks; sports drinks; sweetened water; energy drinks; pre-sweetened coffee or tea; and nonalcoholic beverages intended to be mixed into an alcoholic drink,” according to the city of Philadelphia’s website.
The tax, passed in June 2016 by the Philadelphia City Council, adds 1.5 cents to every ounce of liquid, which amounts to an 18-cent tax for a 12-ounce can of soda and a $2.16 tax for a 12-pack of soda.
The tax was implemented to finance pre-kindergarten programs, increase funding to public parks and facilities, and improve the health of Philadelphians, according to a statement published online by Mayor James Kenney’s office.
Since the law was enacted, some local consumers and businesses say they have suffered.
Canada Dry Delaware Valley — a local distributor of Canada Dry Ginger Ale, Sunkist, A&W Root Beer, Arizona Iced Tea and Vita Coco — said business fell 45 percent in Philadelphia in the first five weeks of 2017, compared with the same period last year. Total revenue at Brown’s Super Stores, which operates 12 ShopRite and Fresh Grocer supermarkets, fell 15 percent at its six retailers in the city.
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