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Issue Date: Vol. 50, No. 6, June 2010, Posted On: 6/3/2010

Philadelphia Escapes Soda Tax

Emily Jed
Philadelphia soda tax, vending machine business, soda vending machine

PHILADELPHIA -- Mayor Michael Nutter has passed a $3.9 billion budget that shelves his proposed sugary drinks tax, which was fiercely opposed by beverage companies, local small business owners and union members.

Philadelphia's mayor criticized the City Council's decision not to include the tax and said the resulting lack of revenue could result in further job losses, including cuts to police and fire departments, as well as reduced free library services. To close Philadelphia's projected $130 million shortfall in 2010-11, the state approved raising property taxes 9.9%, doubling trash-collection fees for commercial properties and levying a new tax on tobacco.

Nutter originally proposed a 2¢-per-fl.oz tax on sugary beverages, projected to raise $77 million annually. But as the budget vote grew near, he reduced the proposed levy to a 0.75¢ tax per fl.oz., which he estimated would generate $30 million a year in revenue.

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