The Philadelphia soda tax on beverage distributors, passed by the city council last year to fund “universal pre-kindergarten,” is making waves for government social engineering. While people continue to drink soda, sales are down and PepsiCo jobs are “drying up.”
The $0.015 per ounce excise tax has sucked 40% of sales out of Philadelphia, “bubbling over” to outside the city limits, where the tax is not levied and sales are reportedly up between 10 and 15%.
A spokeswoman for Pepsico told MUNCHIES: “Unfortunately, after careful consideration of the economic realities created by the recently enacted beverage tax, we have been forced to give notice that we intend to eliminate 80 to 100 positions, including frontline and supervisory roles, in Philadelphia over the next few months, beginning immediately.”
employs employed 423 people in Philadelphia.
City spokeswoman Lauren Hitt “stirred up” a little class warfare, demanding Pepsico continue to sell poison to children, but make less profit on it so the kids can have more government-subsidized education. But God forbid you fire anybody working for Pepsi to cut costs:
“The soda industry sunk [we’re guessing no pun intended here…if soda were untaxed and bubbly, they wouldn’t sink!] to a new low today. They are literally holding hostage the jobs of hardworking people in their battle to overturn the tax. Pepsi reported nearly $35 billion in gross income and $6 billion in profit last year, their CEO makes $25 million dollars a year, and they along with the beverage industry continue to shill out hundreds of thousands of dollars on lobbyists and advertising against the tax.”
[Interestingly, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi (above) made $19 million as of 2014 (according to Wikipedia), and while she may or may not have disparaged Trump supporters following his election (see link in sources…was it FAKE NEWS???) , she now sits on President Trump’s Business Council, according to Fortune.]
However, the Hitt fit continued in her rant to Philadelphia Business Journal:
“The idea that they can afford to do that but ‘must lay off workers’ should make every Philadelphian very skeptical of whether these layoffs are actually due to the tax. What is certain is that pre-k has already created over 250 jobs and allowed many parents to return to the workforce.”
The Pepsi Hitt-woman. From Twitter.
So really, if Pepsico would just bend over a little more for Philly and create the kind of jobs the city believes are more valuable, we could all get along.
ARE THERE SODA MACHINES IN THOSE PRE-KINDERGARTEN ESTABLISHMENTS???
On the other side of the argument, the AP quoted an industry source saying that the tax most affects low-income people without the means to travel outside the city to purchase tax-free soda.
In its first month, the tax raised $5.7 million, which will go to funding universal pre-kindergarten education. The amount is twice as much as what the city expected, meaning people aren’t shifting away from soda as quickly as the city imagined they would.
Thanks to our sources: