According to a report by WAMU, some residents reported that they found door-hangers from the “Alliance for an Affordable D.C.” last weekend. The text on the cardboard suggested that the move would make life in the city even more expensive with the proposed tax on soft drinks, which would be an extra 1.5 cents per ounce to be paid by distributors.
At the bottom of the text is the name of the American Beverage Association as the campaigning group.
“Why is the D.C. Council trying to raise our taxes again when we have a budget surplus?” reads the door-hanger, WAMU reported. “As housing costs continue to rise and people are forced out of their neighborhoods, this tax will hurt residents and working families who are already struggling to make ends meet.”
The beverage industry reacted against soda taxes in similar ways in other jurisdictions previously. One of them was Philadelphia, which imposed a soda tax in 2017. The American Beverage Association reportedly spent millions of dollars on ads and established Philadelphians Against the Grocery Tax.
Media outlets reported that sugary drink sales dropped 38 percent in Philadelphia after the tax, citing a study. William Dermody, spokesman for the American Beverage Association, said in a statement at the time: “It is clear from this study and others that beverage taxes hurt working families, small local businesses and their employees.”
The American Beverage Association that represents America’s non-alcoholic beverage industry was founded in 1919 as the American Bottlers of Carbonated Beverages, and renamed the National Soft Drink Association in 1966. The association now represents hundreds of beverage producers, distributors, franchise companies and support industries.