News & Politics

Democrat Mayor of Philly to Impose $400M Soda Tax

Democrat Mayor of Philadelphia and Nanny State Mafia handmaiden Jim Kenney is going to reduce soda consumption by slapping a 3-cent per ounce citywide tax on the beverage.

Per ounce! A 32-ounce soda would have almost $1 in taxes attached to it. Whom does this social engineering hurt the most? Poor people.

Marisa Waxman, the mayor’s Deputy Commissioner for Policy & Analysis, conducted a briefing with the media Monday intended to spell out the methodology behind how the mayor arrived at his three-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks and offer some insight into how the plan would fare in five to 10 years, should it be granted approval.

Kenney projects his tax will bring in $432 million in revenues for the city — assuming the residents don’t stop drinking soda.

“Basically, what price elasticity means is that you’re trying to figure out – what is the change in purchasing behavior based on a change in price,” said Waxman.

“If the price of something goes up, what happens to consumption? Do people continue to buy the same amount because they really need this item? Is it inelastic and whatever the price is, people are going to pay? Or is there a change in purchasing patterns as a result of the price?”

Exactly, and according to Waxman, “We know there’s been a two-decade-long trend towards reduced soda consumption and sugary beverage consumption overall.”

A reasonable mind would have to ask why, if soda consumption is already trending downward, is a tax necessary to dis-incentivize consumption? People are drinking less soda without the jackboot of government forcing them to do so.

There is also evidence that the soda tax is a job killer.

“Look at Baltimore. They instituted a similar tax on the soda plant that was there – pulled up stakes and 287 jobs were lost,” said Frank Keel, who represents Teamsters Local 830. Union members drive soda trucks.

The money from the tax will “fund universal pre-K, community schools, enhancements to parks and rec centers around town and other city improvement projects.”

Just to summarize: the mayor wants to tax a product punitively — a product whose use is already on the decline — the result of which will burden the poorest residents of his city and also result in lost jobs.

And we wonder why these Democrat-controlled cities are in financial distress.