The scene at Pioneer Supermarket on Ryer Avenue last Wednesday (Photo courtesy of New Yorkers Against Unfair Taxes)
New Yorkers Against Unfair Taxes, a coalition of supermarkets and other businesses with ties to the beverage industry, has been railing against Gov. David Paterson's plans for an 18-percent sales tax on sodas and other sugary drinks.
On Wednesday, the group held a protest and petition-signing session (pictured above) at the Pioneer Supermarket on Ryer Avenue near East 187th Street. The store's owner, David Corona, has appeared in a recent television commercial criticizing the tax. In it, he says: "They talk about a penny here, a penny there, but you know what, in this type of community it all adds up."
Bronx politicians to have taken a stand on the issue include Assembly members Ruth Hassell-Thompson and Jeff Klein, who are firmly on the side of the beverage industry. (Klein has received $36,000 in campaign contributions from drink companies and related groups since December 2008, the Daily News reported last month.) Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowtiz, meanwhile, supports a tax on sugary drinks and foods.
Those in favor of the soda tax say it would plug a hole in the state budget and, at the same time, combat obesity and diabetes.