Philadelphia soda tax, Tri-State Automatic Merchandising Council, vending, vending machine business, vending machine, Philadelphia City Council, Tony Buckholz, Goodman Vending, David Tive, Michael Nutter
PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia City Council has declined to approve Mayor Michael Nutter's plan to raise funds for city schools by taxing sugar-sweetened beverages. The council turned down a similar initiative last year.
The mayor had estimated that his proposed 2¢-per-fl.oz. tax on soda and other sugary drinks would bring in $80 million a year to help alleviate the Philadelphia School District's $650 million deficit. But to the vending industry's relief, in place of a beverage tax, the City Council enacted a temporary 3.85% property tax increase, the second increase in real estate taxes in two years. That hike, combined with several other measures, will result in $53 million in revenue to the school district.
Last month, Tri-State Automatic Merchandising Council president Tony Buckholz, Goodman Vending (Reading, PA), and association legislative counsel David Tive urged operators who do business in Philadelphia to contact the council there to express their opposition to the proposed tax. Tri-State represents the industry in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.
National Automatic Merchandising Association senior manager of government affairs Pam Gilbert credited the industry's efforts and aggressive lobbying by the beverage industry for influencing lawmakers to vote down the tax.