Philadelphia – June 23, 2017 – The state Senate Local Government Committee met today in City Council Chambers in Philadelphia concerning the Philadelphia beverage tax, at the request of State Sen. Anthony Williams (D-Philadelphia/Delaware). 

Following the hearing, Williams issued the following statement:

“The dynamics behind the beverage tax are very complicated and there is a great deal of passion.  The revenue opens doors to children for pre-K and access to recreation centers, but the tax burden increasingly falls on the backs of those who can’t afford it — which is the working poor and people of color. They are disproportionately impacted.

“We want to figure out how the state can find a viable revenue source to support good initiatives.

“When people from our city come to Harrisburg and ask for more money for Pre-K and parks, they are typically asked, how does this benefit Philadelphia?  Why is it you don’t have enough money?  Are you funding it properly? What is it you are asking us to do?

“I certainly have been in a protest or two and I respect democracy working at full throttle, but we also need to understand that many of the people who came here today to protest don’t live in Philadelphia.  Those of us from Philadelphia have a responsibility to be accountable.  Unfortunately, there was no opportunity to do that today.”