April 1, 2018

Why your city doesn't need a soda tax

Hit & Run -  Philadelphia's soda tax has produced a peculiar but predictable outcome: a thriving black market in soda imports.

On March 1, Mayor Jim Kenney released a budget proposal that cut revenue projections for the city's 1.5 cent tax on soda from an originally estimated $92.4 million to $78 million, a drop of nearly 15 percent.

Danny Price—the secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 830, which represents soda bottlers and delivery drivers—attributes a good chunk of that lost revenue to black-marketeers carting in soda from untaxed jurisdictions.

"People are going out of Philadelphia, to Delaware, New Jersey, and the surrounding counties, and they're bringing back soda," Price tells Reason, adding that he and his union's members spot vans loaded with soda coming into the city every day. The soda is then sold to local businesses looking to skirt the city's tax.

No comments: