By Alex Lloyd Gross
When the Sweetened Beverage tax was enacted January 2017, critics claimed it would cost jobs. They were right. Not only have delivery jobs been lost, it was announced today that the Shoprite located at 6710 Haverford Avenue is out of business as of the last day in March 2019. As was predicted, many city residents took their business to Delaware County when they went food shopping. Not just for soda but for the entire food order. The Shoprite lost millions and is unable to sustain itself.
Hundreds of residents in West Philadelphia who still shopped at the store are out of luck. Many depend on the store as it is convenient for them and many do not drive. They will see their meager savings dwindle even more as they are forced to use taxi cabs and ride share programs to get to and from stores. The building that houses the Shoprite will be vacant and the city will lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax money from payroll and sales tax that will not be collected.
Advocates of the tax claim the money went to help fund pre-k . However facts emerged that over $30 million raised by the soda tax has been lost and remains unaccounted for in the city. Many experts have chimed in against the soda tax, including former city controller Alan Butkowvitz, who did a study and found most of the money collected is from the 19103 and 19102 zip codes. This means the city has been charging unsuspecting tourists the tax and households in those zip codes have more disposable income, so this tax is not noticeable to them.Projected revenue generated as been downsized multiple times, as the tax is not generating the money it was supposed to.
Several people have put their hat in the ring for Mayor of Philadelphia. All of them oppose the soda tax.