By Rich Zeoli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – David McCorkle, the President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association expressed his frustration with Philadelphia’s new beverage tax, telling Rich Zeoli on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT that it is already causing headaches for city residents and that he doubts revenues from the tax will meet what is needed to pay for the programs it is designed to fund.

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“As occurred in 2014, when a significant tax was placed on tobacco products and cigarettes, there was significant shortfalls in revenue. The consumer backlash on the beverage tax will be similar to what we’ve seen on the tobacco tax. That is, declining revenues, money not available to fund the pre-K programs that Mayor Kenney is committed to.”

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McCorkle insisted that, despite broad support for pre-Kindergarten program, the tax is burdensome enough to significantly change the buying habits of people inside the city

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“All of our members support the programs that Mayor Kenney is advocating. We like the pre-K programs for kids in the city of Philadelphia. We like the community improvement programs. However, we think the philosophy of saddling consumers in a specific geographic area with a tax approaches two dollars per gallon may be a flawed concept and may not be workable, no matter how hard we try to collect it. Consumers are speaking here with their wallets and probably with their feet. In my opinion, that means moving across Philadelphia’s borders to buy these products in other municipalities.”