By considering a new beverage tax, our legislators are showing how disconnected they are with California’s working families and small business owners and the skyrocketing cost of living and doing business in the state.
Small neighborhood stores in San Fernando like mine, Progreso Market, depend on beverage sales as part of our business model. The bill targets common beverages like soda, teas, fruit and sports drinks stocked on our shelves, which my customers view as essential to get through the day.
The new 2-cents-per-ounce tax would add $2.88 to a 12-pack of soda and $1.28 to a 2-quart jug of iced tea. Those increases will only make it harder for people living paycheck to paycheck.
To add insult to injury, this new tax will not only be a burden on our customers, it will also devastate my business, and hurt my employees. Customers will be forced to abandon neighborhood stores like mine and instead shop at large stores and online retailers.
It’s already too expensive to live in California. More taxes and government overreach on small businesses like mine will make it that much harder to keep my doors open if customers can’t afford their groceries.
I think there are better alternatives to improving public health that don’t include threatening my livelihood and those of the families that shop in my store. I hope legislators hear our voices and vote NO on the new and unfair beverage tax.