The following is an official statement from Dan Grace, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 830 in Philadelphia: “As we have twice in the past, Teamsters Local 830 will once again exhaust every resource available to us to defeat the new administration’s proposed soda tax. We will again be joined in this fight by a broad coalition, including the beverage industry, small business owners, consumers, consumer advocates, the faith-based community and elected officials alike.
Although Mayor Kenney’s stated funding goals from this regressive tax on sugary drinks are noble, it is patently unfair, especially to low-income citizens, single mothers and minorities. It also is our firm belief that this proposed tax is illegal; government cannot tax the same product twice. We also find the mayor’s flip-flop on this issue to be disconcerting. The same reasons why he twice previously opposed this idea as a City Councilman are still valid now.
The passage of this proposal will result in the swift departures of the Pepsi and Coca-Cola operations in the city, the loss of many family-sustaining jobs, and a consumer revolt. Much like the prior administration’s much-ballyhooed tax on cigarettes – which Philadelphia consumers evaded by simply crossing the city borders to buy their tobacco products elsewhere – the same thing will happen with sugary drinks.
The city should not proceed with this ill-conceived idea to generate revenue that is doomed to fail. The soda tax was a bad idea then and it’s a worse idea now.”