PHILADELPHIA -- Tri-State Automatic Merchandising Council president Tony Buckholz, Goodman Vending (Reading, PA), and association legislative counsel David Tive are urging operators who do business in Philadelphia to contact the City Council there to express their opposition to a proposed tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. A similar initiative was defeated last year.
Mayor Michael Nutter is, once again, proposing a tax on soda and other sugary drinks as he and the City Council look for ways to help alleviate the Philadelphia School District's $650 million deficit, the vending council reported. The city estimates that the proposed 2¢-per-fl.oz. tax would bring in $80 million a year.
"Tri-State encourages you to contact the Philadelphia City Council, to oppose this and any new beverage taxes on items like juice drinks, sodas, teas, sports drinks and fountain sodas," Buckholz and Tive emphasized. "Philadelphians can't afford the taxes or the job losses that could result."
The beverage industry in Philadelphia currently supports thousands of jobs and contributes millions of dollars in economic activity to the city, the vending industry officials reported. "With an unemployment rate of nearly 10%, this is not the time to put these and other related industry jobs at risk," they added.
A list of Philadelphia City Council members may be found online by visiting phila.gov/citycouncil.
Tri-State is an affiliated state council of the National Automatic Merchandising Association. It is administered through NAMA's eastern office in Arlington, VA.