As an owner of a retail food establishment, I am stunned at the mismanagement and lack of financial controls in the Baltimore City school system. If I ran my business that way I would be out of business. If the city kept an eye on its finances, there would not have been a need for the container tax that has hit small businesses and city residents with a 150 percent tax increase on beverages sold in containers.

Now the city is looking at the state for even more money, yet it is the one that has mismanaged its books. It's the city's own policies that are costing small businesses jobs. Maybe it is time for the state to step in and repeal the container tax for the betterment of small businesses and residents who are shouldering this unfair burden.

It is time for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and her administration to make things right.

It is time! Time to stand up, take responsibility, and repeal the regressive bottle tax. You knew how bad things were at the Baltimore City Public School system long before the audit findings were revealed, and you still pushed for a bottle tax. A tax that is taking it's toll on Baltimore businesses and citizens alike.

Our industry feels like "the kid who got punished for something another kid did." We can't compete, and we are losing jobs.

I know apologies and admitting mistakes is not a strong trait of Ms. Rawlings-Blake's administration, but its time. Time to repeal the bottle tax!

Rob Santoni Jr., Baltimore

The writer is owner of Santoni's Supermarket and chairman of the Maryland Food Dealers Council.