Philadelphia just passed a landmark soda tax


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The fifth-largest city in the US today (June 16) passed a landmark soda tax proposal that will levy 1.5 cents per liquid ounce on distributors.

Philadelphia’s new measure was approved by a 13-4 city council vote, and sets a new bar for similar initiatives across the country. It is proof that taxes on sugary drinks can win substantial support outside super-liberal enclaves. Until now, the only city to successfully pass and implement a soda tax was Berkeley, California (1 cent per ounce) in 2014.

The tax will apply to regular and diet sodas, as well as other drinks with added sugar, such as Gatorade, lemonades and iced teas. It’s expected to raise $410 million over the next five years, most of which will go toward funding a universal pre-kindergarten program for the city, as well as toward parks and libraries.

While the city council vote was met with applause inside council chambers, opponents to the measure, including the soda lobby, issued sharp rebukes and a promise to challenge the tax in court.

The fifth-largest city in the US today (June 16) passed a landmark soda tax proposal that will levy 1.5 cents per liquid ounce on distributors.

Philadelphia’s new measure was approved by a 13-4 city council vote, and sets a new bar for similar initiatives across the country. It is proof that taxes on sugary drinks can win substantial support outside super-liberal enclaves. Until now, the only city to successfully pass and implement a soda tax was Berkeley, California (1 cent per ounce) in 2014.

The tax will apply to regular and diet sodas, as well as other drinks with added sugar, such as Gatorade, lemonades and iced teas. It’s expected to raise $410 million over the next five years, most of which will go toward funding a universal pre-kindergarten program for the city, as well as toward parks and libraries.

While the city council vote was met with applause inside council chambers, opponents to the measure, including the soda lobby, issued sharp rebukes and a promise to challenge the tax in court.

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