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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Office of Council President Darrell L. Clarke

5th Council District,
City of Philadelphia Room 315
I was asked to write a short email opinion on the soda tax, I am not a writer, but once I started I
could not stop.
I am the owner of an accounting company for over 500 grocery stores here in the city of
Philadelphia. I was a hands on witness on what the cigarette tax did to our city and our economy.
Being in the most stable industry, accounting and taxes, I still suffered a 12.48% loss in business.
The majority of the loss was the closing of stores, usually the marginal stores. I literally had to
let go of two employees. This has never happened in the 29 years of my business and I
completely connect it to the cigarette tax which was recently implemented.
Large and drastic decisions have already been made and are occurring in our economy right in
front of our eyes. With the addition of another tax, such as the sugar/soda tax, you will see the
economy of the city of Philadelphia collapse. Remember all I do is see where the money comes
from and where goes. The residents of the city consume more sugar that outside of the city
making this a direct hit on poverty. These individual stores will continue to close and make the
large corporations such as Wal-Mart, Rite Aid, CVS, Walgreens, etc more powerful. Those
corporations and their stockholders do not live and visit Philadelphia, all they do is siphon the
money out of our communities. The stores that will be most affected live, work and pay taxes in
this Our City.
I can resolve the park funding situation in one executive decision. Its simple enforce the tax laws
that exist NOW. Do not create a large platform of numerous taxes and then decide to enforce
more taxes. Philadelphia is the number one city in the United States, if not one of the top 3, that
impose so many and such high tax rates. It is only a misadministration of funds beginning with
compliance. The city has an extremely high poverty rate and uses the government's funds to
support it. How is it that the money is gifted to our residents and the government has the highest
tax rates? Place auditors in appropriate areas and collect fairly and timely. Create awareness, an

amnesty and make this city competitive. Philadelphia used to be THE CITY of MANY
INDUSTRIES, but because of taxes all industry has left. YOU know the story.
If you need any more assistance please count me in to HELP! I will send this to my 2000
community and business tax emails. Again it is only through unity and education that we will
Fernando Suarez
Cc Philadelphia City Council