New front opens in soda industry's war against the Philadelphia Beverage Tax

The soda industry has had little luck dislodging the tax.

Pat Loeb
June 10, 2018 - 11:50 pm
Soda Generic
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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- The American Beverage Association is opening a new front in its war on Philadelphia’s soda tax. This time, it’s rallying around a bill in Harrisburg that would repeal the tax.  

The soda industry has had little luck dislodging the tax, despite spending tens of millions of dollars trying, so it’s taking a new tack.

Its latest ad suggests Philadelphia area listeners should support the bill introduced by a Western Pennsylvania legislator on the basis that the tax jeopardizes jobs for ex-offenders, provided by Shop Rite’s Jeff Brown.

“I think people assume that if you’ve been formerly incarcerated you’re broken and you’re unfixable,” Brown said in the advertisment. 

Administration officials praise Brown’s hiring practices but note that his website shows 400 job openings in the Philadelphia area, that it’s advertising for help even on customer receipts.

“I don’t see any inconsistency in it,” he said.

Brown says there’s always turnover but that his stores are down 200 jobs.

City officials say the tax has created 250 jobs, even though most of the revenue hasn’t been spent yet because of the soda industry's ongoing legal challenge.