Skip to comments.The Democrat controlled Baltimore City Council proposes a 150% TAX on all soft drinks.
Posted on 04/17/2012 5:20:40 PM PDT by Iam1ru1-2
Members of the City Council will hold a hearing on Wednesday to consider a 150% bottle tax increase.
Such a massive local tax increase on bottled beverages such as soft drinks not only means higher costs for the consumer, but lost jobs as well. This tax hike, if passed, could very well result in layoffs at the Canada Dry bottling plant in Baltimore County and its distribution center in Glen Burnie at a time when the local economy desperately needs job creation and can ill-afford needless job destruction
Unfortunately, this has happened before. When the original 2-cent bottle tax was enacted in 2010, Pepsi found that it was no longer cost-effective to make soft drinks at their facility and was forced to lay off 77 workers as a result. In 2011 employers called on the city to repeal the tax, to no avail. Whats that they say about the definition of insanity?
Baltimore residents, urge your representative on the Baltimore City Council and tell them NO NEW TAXES ON BOTTLED DRINKS.
Grover Norquist President Americans for Tax Reform
Stop the Baltimore City Beverage Tax
Mayor proposes 150% container tax hike
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake dropped her long-expected bill to raise the city container tax on the Baltimore City Council yesterday, but its passage is not assured and if it does pass, it might take a while.
The bill, CC12-0033, would raise the container tax from two cents to five cents per eligible bottle, and would kill the sunset clause of the original bill and make the tax permanent.
The bill, CC12-0033, would raise the container tax from two cents to five cents per eligible bottle. Rawlings-Blake has said she intends to use the proceeds of the tax to fund some much-needed and long-deferred school renovation and reconstruction.
The container tax does not apply to milk and milk substitutes such as soy milk, fruit juices, and containers that are two liters or larger.
Rawlings-Blake says the tax is critically needed to help pay for up to $2.8 billion in deferred maintenance to the citys 204 school buildings. but the introductory copy of the bill does not assign a purpose for the revenue raised from the tax.
The Mayors Office says it will use a combination of teacher pension savings, cash raised from the bottle tax, and the citys cut from its planned slots casino to raise $23 million. The city would use that fund to leverage $300 million in municipal bonds for school reconstruction.
Grocers and liquor store owners reacted with predictable fury.
Rob Santoni, comptroller of the family-owned Santonis Supermarket, says the container tax has been very costly to his business.
In two years we have lost $1 million in sales, he said.
Santoni compared 2011 to 2009, the year before the container tax was passed, and said sales were down $500,000.
He also said that the soft drink and snack food conglomerate PepsiCo gave him sales statistics for 11 independent groceries in the city, and they were down 92,000 cases in 2011.
These are big groceries like ours, not corner stores, all independently owned in the city, said Santoni. So you can imagine what is happening if you factor in Safeway and Giant and the rest of the chains.
The container tax hike bill landed in the Taxation, Finance and Economic Development committee, which is chaired by the independent-minded Carl Stokes of the 12th District. Stokes has said his committee will not hold a hearing for the bill until at least May, a statement that caused some consternation at City Hall.
But Stokes says thats the earliest it can happen because Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarkes Education Committee wont hold a hearing on the needed school reconstruction till April 25, and next years budget is not yet ready.
I have always said I didnt want to hold a bottle tax hearing isolated from the bigger issues, schools, youth programs and the rest, said Stokes. And we dont get the budget till close to May.
The bill calls for any increase to take effect in July 2013.
Of course we are going to have a hearing, said Stokes. It will be a fair hearing in committee and we will decide up or down but we wont hear the bill until we have the clear and full picture.
Santoni says the mayor is looking to raise the container tax because it is easy. Our industry is the low-hanging fruit in this situation, he said. Were an easy target.
Since the tax is collected at the distributor level, collecting a tax and auditing a few beverage distributors is far easier than most other tax increases the mayor could try to impose. The city goes to Coke and it goes to Pepsi, and they write a big check for all of us, he said.
Santoni also said that most big groceries, including his, do not pass the cost of the tax along to customers. We are absorbing 48 cents [on a case] right now, which is break-even for us, he said. How are we going to absorb $1.20?
by Jacqueline Watts email@example.com
I foresee a big increase in black market soft drink sales and soda stream machines.
Hah. When I was growing up during the fifties, pop bottles all had a two cent deposit. It was a minor little kiddie industry to go around and collect stray bottles, turn them in for change at any retail outlet. Alleys behind gas stations were fertile hunting grounds for some reason.
I hope they do it. I like to see demorats self destruct.
It would seem to me to be an easy drive once a month or so to another state to make your drink purchases and avoid this tax.
Maryland just isn’t all that big.
We might find it a bit harder to do in TX—LOL!
Now you can go into a back alley for your coke and a coke. Interesting.
Maryland raised taxes on millionaires. The millionaires left, and revenues went down. Now this.
A tax that makes purchase of the product nearly infeasible as an economic matter is the same as making it practically illegal, which calls into question whether a state can make soda illegal.
Even cigarettes, whose health effects could justify high taxes, don't have taxes at 150 percent.
It's only a Baltimore city tax. Very easy to drive outside of the city to shop.
Oh—I missed that part about it being only in Baltimore.
I once did time in Baltimore—worked the Emergency room at Johns Hopkins. What an eye opener that was for a young RN just out of school—LOL!
(Doesn't that come from global warming enhancing cows?)
They'll foist soy milk on boys and girls alike. Makes the boys easier to emasculate so they'll vote democrat.
Go ahead you stupid elected officials, this is why I don’t buy my groceries, my gas, my clothes or my car repairs in MD. You get to tax everything else!
The Democrat controlled Baltimore City Council proposes a 150% TAX on all soft drinks.
Let me amend that, it's not "inaccurate" it's dead wrong.
If they had used the word "increase" after the word "tax", it would have been correct.
Let’s see...maybe 10 years ago the Baltimore Convention Center charged $3 for a soft drink....street vendors right outside had it for $1.
I don't live in Baltimore city, never did, but if I did I would simply drive a few miles outside the city limits to buy my soft drinks.
Taxpayers flee from that City every day.
Finally, we folks stuck in Merryland can be proud of the democrats! They are taking all they learned about destroying cities (Detroit)and now applying it to “Charm City”, Baltimore. I wonder when the Grand Mosque will be built in downtown Balti???
Alleys behind gas stations were fertile hunting grounds for some reason....AHH HAA, you stole them too! We found where they stacked them, took a dozen or so from the alley and cashed them in at the front door. Got Double Bubble and jaw breakers. (Not sayin’ you were a thief, but those bottles needed “scrounged”, right?)
Baltimordor can’t get all that money for the skrewels, because the city drove most of the taxpayers out some years ago.
Maryland “Freak State” PING!
Oh yes they do. In fact the most recent tax increase by obama on tobacco was a 2,300% increase - from $1.05 per pound to $25.00 per pound.
I'd like to see litigation to determine whether a punitive tax on a disfavored but legal item is legal. It seems to me if the purpose is not revenue, but punishment, then this law violates due process.
You will never see such litigation on tobacco products, because they cover their rearend by claiming it is for revenue because it will force so many to quit the lost revenue has to be made up. circular logic, but exactly how they get away with it.