Last year, the Baltimore City Council passed a 2-cent tax on all bottled drinks sold in the city. They failed to anticipate the obvious pernicious effects that it would have on the local economy. Immediately after the tax was implemented, Pepsi closed down their production of soda in the city, costing local residents more than 70 jobs.
Additionally, like most new taxes, the beverage tax was an inane revenue raising tool. The city only generated $4.8 million in revenue from the tax. The simple fact is that most of the population lives close enough to Baltimore County that they can purchase all of their beverages tax free. Instead of generating revenue for the city, the beverage tax has harmed many supermarkets within the city limits.
Originally, the tax was set to expire two years from now, on June 30, 2013. Thankfully, two members of the City Council, Belinda K. Conaway (District 7) and Warren Branch (District 13), are introducing a bill to repeal the tax a year earlier, in 2012. While we would prefer immediate repeal, this is probably the best we can hope for in this one-party oligarchy.
Please help spread the message and call the other 12 members of the council. Tell them to support repeal of the beverage tax and stop hurting job growth during such bad economic times.