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City council objects to proposed soft drink tax

Members of the Atmore City Council voiced their disapproval of a proposed state tax on soft drinks, during Monday’s council meeting.

With the state facing a shortfall in its General Fund budget this year, some lawmakers have suggested an additional tax on soft drinks as a way to address part of that deficit. The proposed tax is five cents on every 12 ounces of soft drinks purchased.

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh has said he is opposed to any soft drink tax.

On Monday, the city council unanimously passed Resolution No. 10-2015, spelling out their arguments against any soda tax. Susan Smith made the motion, which was seconded by Chris Walker.

City council member Webb Nall, who is employed by Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Atmore, abstained from the vote.

Atmore Mayor Jim Staff said that the city would send the resolution to the state legislature.

The text of the resolution is as follows:

“A resolution opposing any tax increase on the manufacturing, distribution or sale of soft drinks in the state of Alabama.

“Whereas, the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Atmore, Inc., is a major employer in the City of Atmore; and
“Whereas, the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Atmore, Inc., has been an outstanding corporate citizen of our beautiful city; and

“Whereas, 49 of our citizens are gainfully employed by the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Atmore, Inc.; and

“Whereas, an increased tax on soft drink products would unnecessarily drive sales of soft drinks across our southern border and into the State of Florida; and

“Whereas, an increased tax on soft drinks would put Atmore businesses at a competitive disadvantage to businesses in Florida; and

“Whereas, an increased tax on soft drinks would jeopardize the jobs of many hardworking people in Atmore and throughout the state of Alabama, and

“Whereas, no budget solution should target one specific industry, and

“Whereas, soft drinks are as American as apple pie.

“Now therefore, be it resolved that the City Council of the City of Atmore, the Mayor concurring that:

“We strongly encourage the Alabama House of Representatives, the Alabama State Senate and Governor Robert J. Bentley to oppose any effort to levy any additional taxes or to increase any existing tax on the manufacturing, distribution or sale of soft drinks in the State of Alabama.

“Adopted and approved this 13th day of July, 2015.”