Unexpectedly, onerous taxes in Philadelphia are hurting businesses... and the people who work there. The latest casualty? Philadelphia Pepsi workers. Business Insider reports:
PepsiCo is laying off 80 to 100 workers at distribution plants serving Philadelphia. According to the company, a soda tax that is cutting the area's soda consumption is to blame.
The layoffs, which account for roughly 20% of Pepsi's 423 Philadelphia employees, will begin Wednesday and be spread out over the next few months, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
"Unfortunately, after careful consideration of the economic realities created by the recently enacted beverage tax, we have been forced to give notice that we intend to eliminate 80-100 positions, including frontline and supervisory roles, in Philadelphia over the next few months, beginning today," Pepsi said in a statement to Business Insider.
Philadelphia's soda tax passed in June 2016 and went into effect in January of this year. The 1.5-cent-per-ounce soda tax is expected to raise about $91 million annually.
Of course, something happens when the price of two-liter bottles and 12 packs of cans nearly doubles. (Pay attention, liberals, we know economics is hard for you.) People buy fewer products. When people spend less, people lose jobs:
Bloomberg reported that some soda sellers in Philadelphia said that beverage sales had dropped up to 50% in 2017. Operators of local supermarkets have reported significant drops in revenue, something executives say will result in their cutting of jobs in the near future and have already forced them to slash employees' work hours.
Thankfully, this tax is currently under appeal, with arguments over the sticky issue to begin next month. If the tax is actually repealed, Pepsi says the jobs will return to the City of Brotherly Love.
If government would stay out of our vending machines - and pretty much everywhere else - life would be a lot better for everyone.
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