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February 5, 2010

Will Philly Get a Soda Tax?

I sure hope so (via KYW 1060):

...The Nutter Administration is considering a tax on soda to help close the city's massive deficit. But the mayor himself claims that the real goal of such a tax would be to improve your health.

"What we're focused on primarily is obesity."

Mayor Nutter insists that his consideration of levying a tax on all sodas and sweetened drinks has a noble goal that goes beyond solving an economic crisis. He wants to encourage people to avoid sodas:

"It's something that we're taking a look at it, because we care very deeply about the issue of obesity, not only for children, type-2 diabetes, but also adults as well."

It's still unclear if Nutter will include a soda tax in the budget that he presents to city council in one month. Also unclear -- the rate of the tax, and who would pay directly -- distributors, retailers or consumers.

The Philly Daily News suggests a penny-an-ounce tax on soda and other sugary drinks might be a possibility -- though we won't find out until March 4 when the Mayor unveils his budget. In the unlikely event a Philly city soda tax could survive the vicious and inevitable blowback from the beverage industry, it would -- according to Yale's Rudd Center dead useful soda tax calculator -- generate up to $68 million dollars for the cash-strapped city. I say, go for it, Mike!

flickr user: b0r0da

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Anonymous Julie said...

Good for Philly - at least someone's trying to curb obesity, even though people should be able to keep their own health in check...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me? This is not about obesity, it's about money! If everyone switched to diet soda, Nutter would need to tax something else. Get real, Nutter wants your money, he wants you to continue drinking sugared soda to settle his budget!

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