Philly to Fight Obesity with 'Soda Tax'
Distributors of sugary or artificially sweetened carbonated drinks in Philadelphia will pay a 1.5 cent per ounce tax on the products beginning in January 2017, despite a multimillion dollar effort by the beverage industry to block the proposal. Similar proposals have failed in more than 30 states and the only U.S. city to pass similar legislation is Berkeley, CA.
Supporters of the "soda tax" claim it will help improve the health of the approximately 1.5 million people who live in the city—of which more than 68% of adults and 41% of children are overweight or obese. According to opponents, the measure will hurt small businesses and people with lower incomes.
Soda distributors will decide whether or not to pass the tax on to consumers. The city’s mayor says the increased revenue will fund early learning centers, schools, and recreation centers.