Joseph J DeFelice, Chairman of the Philadelphia Republican Party, released a statement encouraging the PA State House to pass HB 1885 and end Mayor Kenney's dangerous, inane Sanctuary Cities policy:
It’s official: after a months-long debate that counts among the most disingenuous in the city’s history, Council has ushered in a new tax on beverages that at the last minute will funnel money into our General Fund and tax diet beverages as well as sugary ones. All the Democrats on Council but one ignored all arguments to the contrary to rubber-stamp the Mayor’s 1.5 cents per ounce tax that will fall disproportionately on the poorest Philadelphians.
During the months-long debate around the Mayor’s proposed soda tax, we had heard the same argument over and over again: This is for the kids. Now, as Council agreed in a voice vote to advance a “compromise” bill to likely passage, an 11th-hour change means that much of the tax revenue is going to the city’s general fund, rather than to “universal” Pre-K, as defined by the Mayor.
“The same week that the City Controller issued a statement that proceeds from the real estate transfer tax have more than doubled in five years – bringing a ‘significant economic benefit for the city’ – City Council has decided to take on a bill to raise that tax even further.”
“Rest assured that we will be told that this is a tax only on business and on developers, just as we were told that the soda tax would only impact manufacturers. That this is a crock is readily apparent to anyone who has sat through even a day of Economics 101.”
With the Mayor’s soda tax facing stiff opposition in City Council – including Council President Darrell Clarke yesterday calling it “ridiculous” and unlikely to pass – Council will now debate an alternate tax introduced by At-Large Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown: a 15-cent tax imposed on any beverage container sold in the city aside from milk and baby formula. The tax, borrowed from Baltimore – not exactly known as a bastion of good governance – would be even further reaching than a tax on sugary beverages, and thus even more difficult for consumers to avoid.
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