Tag: santoni’s

SRB Says Bottle Tax Not to Blame for Highlandtown Supermarket’s Closing, Industry Types Disagree



When Santoni’s, the 83-year-old independent grocery store in Highlandtown, announced it was closing a few days ago, chief financial officer Robert N. Santoni Jr. named the city’s five-cent bottle tax as the “sole” reason.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake quickly shot back with a refutation, saying the business’s struggles are due to “the depths of the nation’s recession,” not the beverage tax, which was “critical to helping Baltimore close a massive budget deficit without cuts to city services.”

At least for an outsider, it’s hard to believe that a puny-sounding tax on beverages could really single-handedly bring down a long-running business providing such an essential, leaving its 80 employees suddenly out of work. But to industry insiders the argument doesn’t sound that ridiculous.