I served as Philadelphia’s Fire Commissioner for over a decade. I understand the need to make tough budget decisions. But the Mayor’s proposal to impose a 3-cents per ounce tax on beverages is discriminatory – unfairly targeting one industry and one group of Philadelphians. The administration is failing to consider how this tax will burden the communities it is claiming to help.
Wealthier Philadelphians can easily find ways to circumvent this tax. They will head to the suburbs for their weekly shopping trips – but the same opportunity is not afforded to people without cars who must shop at bodegas or grocery stores in walking distance. It is unfair to place the burden of funding government expansion on the backs of those already struggling to make ends meet.
Harold Hairston served as Philadelphia’s Fire Commissioner from 1992 through 2004.
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