PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney fought back against opponents of his proposed soda tax on Wednesday, announcing a coalition of groups supporting the tax. They include some unlikely members.
You might expect progressive unions such as SEIU or the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers to support the three cents an ounce tax, proposed to pay for ambitious education and public facilities programs, but restaurant owners, who sell soda for a living?
“Absolutely yes,” said Ben Miller, the owner of Barbacoa in South Philadelphia.
“It’s not going to hurt me. People are still going to drink soda and even if we have to raise the price of soda, we’re going to sell other drinks, things we make a higher profit margin on,” Miller explained.
Mayor Kenney thanked Miller, saying he’s going to need reinforcements in the fight to get the tax.
“It’s going to be an air war, it’s going to be a ground war and there are going to be lobbyists out the wazoo,” Kenney said.
Indeed, a spokesman for the other side says he can produce hundreds of small businessmen, like Miller, who believe the tax will hurt them. Its fate rests with city council.