ShopRite claims it will have to lay off 300 workers as a result of Philadelphia’s 1.5 cents per ounce soda tax, according to Fox News. Another large distributor claims it will be cutting 20 percent of its workforce as a result of the tax which adds $2.16 to the cost of a 12-pack of soda.
Overall, Philly.com reports distributors are seeing a 30-50 percent decline in sales.
“People are seeing sales decline larger than anything they’ve seen up to this point in the city,” Alex Baloga, vice president of external relations at the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association told Philly.com.
But Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney doesn’t like these numbers. According to Fox, Kenney said that the companies are being greedy because they have the option to reduce their bottom line, referencing industry leader’s salaries, as opposed to laying off workers.
“They are so committed to stopping this tax from spreading to other cities that they are not only passing the tax they should be paying onto their customer, they are actually willing to threaten working men’s and women’s jobs rather than marginally reduce their seven-figure bonuses,” said Kenney.
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