Philadelphia, Pa., this week became the first major city — and the only one other than far-left Berkeley, Calif. — to institute a excise tax on sugary beverages. The 1.5-cent-per-ounce increase will nearly double the price of many popular drinks.
Proponents of the tax want to use money raised to fund public preschool programs. Critics — and there were plenty — say the spike will disproportionately affect those who can least afford it.
The American Beverage Association released a statement lambasting the “highly unpopular” proposal as “a regressive tax that unfairly singles out beverages, including low- and no-calorie choices.”
City council members voted to enact the tax over the objection of many locals, making it the exception. While soda taxes have been proposed in dozens of cities across the nation, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, a Democrat, made it happen while making a lot of locals upset in the process.
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg , who proposed an unsuccessful ban on large sodas sold in the city, weighed in on the issue by purchasing ads in support of the Philadelphia tax set to take effect at the beginning of 2017.