Continuing a years-long effort to keep people the hell out of Philadelphia, Mayor Michael Nutter unveiled the city's plan Thursday to institute a permanent 2-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary liquids.
"We've recently taken a number of steps to keep people - and their money - from flowing into our city and this new tax is in line with that agenda," said Nutter. "I don't think I have to remind anyone of the 8 percent sales tax we put in place last year. Our business taxes also remain among the highest in the nation, while our lack of parking and resultant violations collections measures are so legendary that A&E for some reason made a television show about it. ... For those who would rather take SEPTA into the city and avoid the parking situation, years of mismanagment have forced costs to increase to a 'prohibitive' level, all but eliminating that option."
While he wasn't directly responsible for it, Nutter said the city also takes great pride in its 4 percent wage tax, which he said has been an excellent deterrent to anyone willing to live or work in Philadelphia. He noted some 300,000 jobs have fled Phialdlephia since 1950, alnog with about 30 percent of the population.
This new sugar tax is ostensibly a "sin tax" intended to keep young people from getting fat, said Nutter, whose hatred for fatties (but not bloat) has been well documented.
Plans to provide poorer neighborhoods that more closely resemble a post-tsunami Indonesia than inner-city Philadelphia with access to anything more than a bodega for foodstuffs were apparently not included in discussions.
Nutter, the driving force behind a citywide smoking ban in 2007, said he does have some other plans in the works to combat obesity, however, including rationing of fast food access and an outright ban on cheesesteaks.
"Listen, we're not saying you shouldn't be able to make choices about what you do with or to your own body, except in the sense that yes, that is exactly what we're saying," said Nutter. "We just want you to live, work and play somewhere else. Why is that so hard for people to understand?"