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Participating businesses will hang up signs encouraging people to call their elected representatives.Some legislators in Harrisburg weighed in this month, with an amicus brief calling on the court to overturn the tax.“Initially people are upset and drive over the city line, but then they do the math and realize the cost of gas or the pure inconvenience doesn’t make it worth it,” Dunn said. Del Conner is one of the 210 distributors registered with the city. Physick soda, a tiny beverage-maker that sells about 500 cases a year.The soda is named after Conner’s great-great-great-grandfather, a Philadelphia pharmacist who introduced carbonated water into fruit syrup as a way to help relieve gastric disorders.Within City Hall, legislators are taking a wait-and-see approach. Dunn said the administration predicts shoppers will return as they did after an initial falloff at the inception of the amusement and liquor by-the-drink tax.
The Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association, in conjunction with movie theaters, restaurants, and supermarkets, is mounting a new "Ax the Bev Tax” campaign this week.One of the city's largest distributors says it will cut 20 percent of its workforce in March, and an owner of six Shop Rite stores in Philadelphia says he expects to shed 300 workers this spring.“People are seeing sales decline larger than anything they’ve seen up to this point in the city,” said Alex Baloga, vice president of external relations at the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association.The distributor is a subsidiary of Honickman Affiliates, owned by Harold Honickman, who helped lead the opposition to the tax last summer.The 35 jobs on the line include managers, sales people, and drivers, Brockway said.