Rally against proposed soda tax circles City Hall

Unions representing people who make and deliver soda joined with a few politicians to denounce Philadelphia’s proposed tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.

As beverage trucks encircled City Hall honking, union members and politicians rallied against the sugar-sweetened drink tax. Former City Controller Jonathan Saidel says the tax will hurt business and drive people out of the city to buy beverages.

“They put this tax in, I got to go to Montgomery County, sneak around to get soda.  No, it’s going to lose jobs, we can’t afford to lose jobs,” said Saidel.

Daniel Grace of the Teamsters represents soda delivery drivers. He says the tax is unfair: “Because they are singling out one industry and not all industries that use sugar.”

Councilman Bill Green says the problem shouldn’t be in City Council’s hands.

“I’d like to hear from you loud enough so they can hear it in Harrisburg where this problem started: Save our schools, save our schools.”

Mayor Nutter wants to create the tax to help the school district close a $629 million deficit. By taxing each ounce of soda 2 cents, the plan would raise $80 million a year.

This disclosure, WHYY receives grant funds from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health to produce content and hold forums related to healthy living. The department is an advocate of the soda tax.

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