Hundreds Rally In Philadelphia To Oppose Nutter’s Proposed Soda Tax

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Hundreds of people made some noise today outside Philadelphia City Hall, rallying against the proposed tax on sweetened drinks (see related story).

Even as Mayor Nutter made the rounds at schools to stress the importance of providing adequate funding for education, soda truck drivers circled City Hall, honking their horns, as a way of saying their jobs are in jeopardy from what Councilman Brian O’Neill calls the “1-for-2” sale because the per-ounce tax would nearly double the price of those beverages.

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soda tax rally ost Hundreds Rally In Philadelphia To Oppose Nutters Proposed Soda Tax

This is supposed to raise $60 million for the schools (see related story), but O’Neill says its real result would be “to drive people to the suburbs to buy their soda, and then all their groceries, more than likely at non-union stores, more than likely in stores that have never paid any taxes in Philadelphia.”

Some in the crowd want more money for the schools, others say they don’t deserve more without accountability and results.  But they were united that the soda tax is too bitter to swallow.

Former city controller Jonathan Saidel says he supports public education, but not by the sugary swig.

“So they want to find a tax for something they haven’t taxed before, ’cause they can’t tax the air or they’d tax the air,” Saidel told the rally. “They ought to find out why the school district doesn’t have money, fire those people responsible for the reason they don’t have money, and fire everybody except the teachers.”

Several other council members addressed the soda tax rally, an indication of how that body is split on school funding and taxes, with crunch time approaching.

A short distance away, at the District Headquarters, supporters of the soda tax proposal made sure their voices are also heard.

Volunteers and members of a not-for-profit organization, Education Voters of Pennsylvania held a phone bank to reach out to as many people as they can to urge the public to convince their council members to support the soda tax.

Watch the video…

The organization’s program manager, Ian Moran said, “Personally I’m happy to pay taxes when I know they’re going to things that matter, especially schools.”

Mayor Nutter added, “This really shouldn’t be that tough a decision.”

Mayor Nutter spent the day visiting the five schools expected to bear the brunt of the cuts. At a time when thousands of teachers face losing their jobs, he says he is siding with the students and for the future of the city.

“No one wants to pay a little more, I don’t want to ask for a little more but I think the cost of not having these kinds of programs and services is really astronomical,” Nutter said.

The Council is scheduled to address these matters on Thursday.

Reported by John Ostapkovich, KYW Newsradio; Elizabeth Hur, CBS 3

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One Comment

  1. Ron says:

    this is as dumb as it gets … let’s find another group to single out and claim what they do is bad for them so – let’s tax them. selective taxing of individual items for no reason other than to raise money. COWARDLY is all i can say. Get some guts and tax everyone equally. this kind of isolated taxing is disgusting. what about a bubble gum tax, what about a toilet paper tax, an asparagus tax, a potato tax, or a windshield tax, or a tax on socks. see how stupid this is

  2. Carolyn says:

    I used to really enjoy drinkning soda, COKE-A-COLA was my all time favorite soda to drink, but gave it all up, because of proven health effects on one’s body!! In my opinion, higher taxes on CIGARETTES AND LIQUOR should be considered instead, especially since the health risks of these 2 evils is GREATER!!!

  3. Same Spade says:

    Legalize prostitution and TAX it !

  4. nick says:

    Danielle, im sure your a real looker. find yourself a man and a clue. people will lose jobs over this ridiculous tax!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Danielle the looker! says:

      I’m sorry, how does my looks and/or having a man have anything to do with whether or not soda is healthy or not? You make yourself sound ridiculous.

      Thousands of jobs are being lost in the school district because it lacks the money whereas this tax can help keep some of those jobs. When jobs are lost in the school district, less children are getting educated producing less productive citizens to enter the work force in the years to come.

    2. haha says:

      It’s “you’re” as in “you are”…. not “your” …. get a clue!

  5. Josh says:

    “These drinks are necessary for hydration!!”
    – – NO, WATER is necessary for hydration. Drinking soda is objectively bad for you. It has no redeeming value. It’s like cigarettes. Chronic usage is only going to harm your health and drive up the cost of healthcare for citizens with sense and self-discipline.
    “Who appointed you to decide what is healthy or not?”
    – – Health is not a matter of opinion, it is a matter of science. But either way, don’t impose your garbage diet on us. I go to convenience stores and I can barely find a thing to eat that isn’t full of fat, sugar, or salt. If you want extra fat, ADD OIL. If you want extra sodium, ADD SALT. And if you want extra sugar, well it just isn’t that hard. But I shouldn’t be stuck avoiding half the foods out there simply because I don’t want high blood pressure, diabetes, or an early heart attack.

    1. I applaud you :) says:

      Josh, I don’t know you, but I love you hahaha. Everything you responded is so very true.
      My favorite is that people are going to drive to the suburbs to get their soda. Really?I didn’t know soda was that high on everyone’s priority list!

  6. Josh says:

    “Sugar, fat and salt are parenting issues.”
    – – And who’s going to parent the parents? Bottom line is, people like myself who eat healthy have to pay ten times more to eat food without all the added sugar, fat, and sodium. Why should I have to choose between poor health or poor finances. It’s absurd! If you wan’t more sugar or salt in your sliced meats or juices, then add it yourself!! Don’t force your bad eating on us, because we don’t get the option of removing it once it’s there. So stop acting like you’re the ones being imposed upon.

  7. Jack says:

    Mayor Nutter and the City Council did a terrific job funding a last minute crisis.

    The soda tax was well thought out. Adult consumers of soda do not change their buying habits when the price increases because soda is so damn good. Suppliers, in contrast, could probably quickly change their supplies since there are so many fixed costs involved with soda production. In sum, the tax will fall on consumers who purchase these sugar filled beverages and HAVE NO IMPACT ON BUSINESSES.
    In addition, taxing soda encourages children to drink healthier alternatives. Children who have less money to spend WILL CONSUME LESS.

    Nice one!

  8. grumpy says:

    Just think how much money would end up in the coffers if they taxed beer or alcohol like they did cigarettes!

  9. bottomline says:

    Lower the costs of operating our schools! Stop baby sitting, stop trying to teach feeble minded children nuclear physics, stop busing – the schools don’t need more money, they need common sense honesty. Sugar, fat and salt are parenting issues. When will the city do the right thing – must have graduated from their own schools.

    1. Oh dear.... says:

      I’ll let my fourth graders know they are “feeble minded” tomorrow when I go to teach them. I’m sure that would benefit their future, as well as mine, since they are my future. You know nothing about education if you think we don’t need more resources.
      As far as soda being a “parenting issue,” I suppose all my children are lacking parents then when they walk to school and stop at the corner store for their morning soda. I would love it if the soda was far out of their price range, maybe they’d make healthier choices.

      1. bottomline says:

        Feeble minded was a poor choice of words, perhaps mentally challenged would be more correct. Speaking as an experienced problem child, you’re wasting your time and money on these challenged children. If and when they are ready to learn they will, without your help. Some don’t have the mental facilities to be anything more challenging then floor sweepers.
        I recall, during my delinquent phase of life, I had friends whom would not participate in my socially unacceptable activities – that’s good parenting – they just said no.
        The school system is just an expensive fat cow, milking society for every dime they can get. The more they get, the fatter they get and the children continue to learn as best as they are mentally capable of. Save the taxpayers money and give a better education by letting the future’s floor sweepers fulfill their destiny.

  10. Sick of Philly says:

    This is what happens when uneducated, impoverished citizens believe that as long as they push the democrat lever in the booth things will be good for them. Just like our president, these people have no business sense, no economic sense, no budgeting capabilities and they are expected to make big boy decisions in the real world. They flat out do not know what to do. So they tax soda, they raise bridge tolls, they cut low paying city workers, and they try to save nickels because they have a nickel mentality. It’s not going to change in Philly until Philly turns into Flint Michigan and everyone leaves because there’s nothing left…

    1. Great Point says:

      Great commentary…..I agree with you! They step over a dollar to pick up a dime. What a shame……….

    2. A Grandmother says:

      I’m sick too! I agree that much of this is the result of uneducated impoverished thinking. The problem is people don’t vote and the ones that do are hooked on the party line. I’m one who says I’llo never vote for a republican because of what republicans stand for. Now I have a hard time voting for democrats. They’ll fall for anything!!

  11. Dave says:

    Nicole. I don’t need you or that tax writing Soda Nazi telling me what I should buy with my own money. Who appointed you to decide what is healthy or not? Oh the monumental nerve!

    1. Danielle says:

      Try monumental ignorance… are you really going to argue whether or not sugar packed soda is healthy or not? It’s science. Not opinion.

  12. Jim Wilmer says:

    Large vans would sell soft drinks on street corners, soft drinks bought from stores outside of the city. So would the city really prosper by this tax? Plus would the diet drinks be taxed? What about juices? These drinks are necessary for hydration!!!

    1. Really?? says:

      Yes, they are needed for hydration. When I go for a run, I love to chug some soda to get rehydrated. My goodness…

  13. L. Wagner says:

    Do you really think a couple of extra pennies is going to keep people from buying soda? Look how much cigarettes have gone up over the years. It hasn’t stopped people from smoking (even those people who clearly can’t afford it). If it wasn’t for a ridiculous governor who thinks cutting funding for our children is the place to start, the soda tax wouldn’t even be an issue.

  14. I was there. It wasn’t hundreds of people. It was like 100 of Philly’s mega obese. Just LOOKED like hundreds.

    Ba dum chee

    Tobacco is being taxed out of existence, it’s time for sugary drinks to pay the piper

    1. :) says:

      Hahahahaha… I love this post!

  15. Linda D Bryant says:

    The SODA TAX will not be passed by City Council because most of the council
    members have accepted kick-backs from the Soda companies to make sure
    that the tax is not implemented!!!!

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