After intense lobbying by the soda industry four months ago, City Council opted to do a temporary 3.85 percent property tax increase over Mayor Nutter’s preferred tax on sugary drinks – to raise more money for schools.
And while the soda-tax may be dead –for now –the anti-soda forces are still hard at work taking their campaign to the streets gearing-up for yet another attempt –as Nutter is expected to reintroduce the tax again possibly in time for the next budget cycle.
Mayoral spokesman Mark McDonald disagreed.
“There are no plans at this time,” McDonald said. “We’re so far away from a budget.”
Earlier this week a Mayfair resident found a door-hanger outside of his home which read “The Mayor wants you to pay more for many of your favorite beverages. Any proposed new beverage taxes will increase your grocery bills. Hard working Philadelphia families can’t afford to pay anymore taxes. Tell the City Council to say NO to higher beverage taxes.”
One Philadelphian complained to Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown’s office that he had to scrape the fliers off of his car windshield. He wanted to know who he could hold responsible for the litter and possible damage to his car.
The fliers, a message from the Philly Jobs, Not Taxes coalition, paid for by the American Beverage Association is a part of a citywide effort to educate the public said coalition spokesman Larry Ceisler, adding that there are even fliers in local grocery stores.
"Since we know the Mayor is so intent on taxing the industry…the first time it was obesity, then education and then revenue… Our coalition has to keep up our defenses,” Ceisler said. “It’s really a public policy battle that has never stopped.”
Nutter really wanted the 2-cents-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks, after failing to get it through Council last year, when it was pegged as an anti-obesity effort.
“I don’t think the Mayor has ever stopped. I don’t think the coalition can stop either,” Ceisler said.
Check out the door-hanger here.