The City’s New Soda tax Is “REAL!”:
by Jim Brown.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Have you been to your local supermarket, corner store or your favorite breakfast restaurant in West Philly since the New Year? Well, you’re in for a shocker – to your wallet. If you didn’t remember, the City’s new sugar tax on soda and sugary drinks is now in effect as of January 1, 2017. Last Tuesday, I went to the local Fresh Grocer Supermarket and picked up a quart of Swiss lemonade that cost $1. I was in for a shocker. Well, the register rang up $2.12. I had six of the juices in my cart. I immediately gave five bottles back to the cashier. It was late last year that City Council, with Mayor Jim Kenney’s blessing, voted on the new tax that was supposed to fund the Mayor’s Pre-K initiative, universal day care for toddlers. The tax is also aimed at funding city rec centers and playgrounds. Philadelphia became the country’s first city to pass such a tax on sugary drinks.
Today, the tax is a reality. I looked at the total for the one juice three times, before another customer told me to ask the young store manager to give me a flyer, reminding others of the new soda tax. I only purchased the one juice but thought about all of those customers that would be surprised at the cash register. I also thought about who would really benefit from a soda tax that has many more concerned about the distribution of the funds that are raised and what effect it would have on the soda companies and parents who are sending their kids to a Pre-K school not registered with the School District of Philadelphia.
This tax is too high. The Mayor should have really taken into account the incomes of people in his city who can’t afford to spend the money to cover their budgets or reduce dramatically purchasing soda and juice products throughout the supermarkets and corner stores in the city. I understand the noble gesture of providing the ideal program for our young ones that will be entering their very first experience as Pre-Kindergarten students.
But I just have a strong opinion about how that money will be earmarked and the schools and neighborhoods that honestly need the funding.I also understand the health reasoning for the tax. Sugar drinks are partly blamed for the obesity and diabetic epidemic in this country. If the intention of the tax is suppose to promote healthy living, I believe it will do its job.But there’s a curiosity that this money will be diverted at the Mayor’s discretion and not accessible to the public where the money actually suppose to go. It’s my guess that Mayor Jim Kenney will be having another press conference soon to answer questions about his plan because residents are now talking and they “ain’t” happy about the actual tax that has tore into their wallets and pocketbooks. Stay tuned for the back-lash from residents from the City of Brotherly Love. But many people will be hearing another call to answer this form of tax gouging. In West Philly, there will be a long line to the markets leading to Upper Darby, Bala Cynwyd, Yeadon… and other places where a quart of Swiss Lemonade cost $1.