Members of the City Council will hold a hearing on Wednesday to consider a new and unnecessary 150% soda tax increase.
Such a massive local tax increase on soda not only means higher costs for the consumer, but lost jobs as well. This tax hike, if passed, could very well result in layoffs at the Canada Dry bottling plant in Baltimore County and its distribution center in Glen Burnie at a time when the local economy desperately needs job creation and can ill-afford needless job destruction. A spokeswoman for Canada Dry recently told the Baltimore Business Journal that increasing the soda tax from two to five cents would cause an additional 10-percent decline in sales in Baltimore.
Unfortunately, this has happened before. When the original 2-cent soda excise tax was enacted in 2010, Pepsi found that it was no longer cost-effective to make soda at their Baltimore facility and was forced to lay off 77 workers as a result. In 2011 employers called on the city to repeal the tax to no avail. What’s that they say about the definition of insanity?
Baltimore has an overspending problem, not a revenue problem. The tax code should not be used to pick winners and losers. Not only is raising the soda tax unsound policy, it is even more unwise in light of the fact that the largest federal tax increase in U.S. history will hit hard working Baltimore taxpayers in less than nine short months.
ATR urges Baltimore residents to call their representative on Baltimore City Council and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and tell them NO NEW TAXES ON SODA.
Office of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
Baltimore City Council
Office of the President
James B. Kraft
Brandon M. Scott
Rochelle “Rikki” Spector
Sharon Green Middleton
William “Pete” Welch
William H. Cole IV
Mary Pat Clarke