Constituents sour on sweetened beverage tax confront councilman

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 Philadelphia Councilman Curtis Jones says he continues to be confronted by constituents angry over the new tax on sweetened beverages.(File)

Philadelphia Councilman Curtis Jones says he continues to be confronted by constituents angry over the new tax on sweetened beverages.(File)

Four months after its inception, Philadelphia’s tax on sweetened beverages continues to spur complaints. One  Philadelphia councilman said he’s heard a lot of them.

Wherever he goes, Councilman Curtis Jones said, the topic of the 1.5-cents-per-ounce tax comes up.

One man, who confronted Jones in the supermarket, complained about having to pay a second “sin tax.”

“He says, ‘Do you know how much my Pepsi or Coke and my cigarettes cost because of you all?  You’ve raised the cigarette tax, you’ve raised the sugary drink tax,'” Jones said. “I understood his plight.”

The councilman was also collared while getting his hair cut.

“My barber laid me out. He said in the corner store where he goes … they were charging him for 100 percent apple juice — applying the tax to it — and it hurt me, because you should not gouge the people,” Jones said.

Jones said he is reviewing the legislation to see what can be done about merchants unfairly applying the tax to beverages that should be exempt.

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