“Headline” changed 6/18. Original post continues below
Philadelphia Passes Soda Tax
As we reported previously Philadelphia is shaking up the beverage market by causing sales to flatten. The Philly City Council approved a 1.5 cent per ounce tax to sugary and diet sodas this afternoon.
According to Associated Press, a major drawback of such government-fueling proposals that have failed in 30 cities and states is that poor people, who buy more soda than the wealthy, will be disproportionately effected (which the Council must think is only fair, given the disproportional allotment of body fat in poor and working-class people in the general population).
Many residents seem pleased by the decision, which will make a 20-ounce bottle of Pepsi cost $0.30 more (unless beverage distributors [PUN ALERT] swallow the tax loss and sell the soda at artificially
sweetened lower prices to protect their consumers…of course if they were that generous they probably wouldn’t be in the market of pushing liquid diabetes on children).
Every woman in the campaign shot above is ecstatic. Except the one on the far right so busy texting she’s holding her sign upside down. Maybe she can’t see anything because she has retinal vessel damage from diabetes.
“Thanks to the tireless advocacy of educators, parents, rec center volunteers and so many others, Philadelphia made a historic investment in our neighborhoods and in our education system today,” Philly Mayor Jim Kenney (D) said in a statement.
Kenney plans to spend most of the estimated $90,000,000 confiscated from the public to pay for “prekindergarten, community schools and recreation centers.”
Maybe we could tax gambling and cigarettes to build other healthy stuff.
The tax passed 13-4 on the council. Millions of dollars were spent on both sides of the debate. The ABA apparently ran negative ads, while former NYC Mayor and current 8th-richest person in the world Michael Bloomberg bought up positive advertising.
“The tax passed today is a regressive tax that unfairly singles out beverages, including low- and no-calorie choices,” the American Beverage Association said in a statement.
Harold Honickman, of the ABA, plans to file a suit against the tax as soon as this weekend.
According to AP, 68 percent of adults and 41 percent of children in Philadelphia are overweight or obese. (The former statistic mirrors the U.S. population in general.)
If a poor person buys one 20-ounce (standard vending machine size) soda daily, she will spend only $109.50 more over the next year. That’s pocket change!
A couple morbidly obese elephants in the room, little details the taxpayers will not like, are note in the AP report.
The tax won’t start getting collected until Jan. 1, but it will enter into the fiscal budget July 1.
This means the city will begin spending the money six months before they collect it. For the children.
Some of the money raised by the tax will go to pay for city employee benefits and pet projects of council members and to build up municipal provide budget reserves.
AP notes that the kids got in on the action with propaganda signs:
Groups of pre-K students clustered outside City Hall on Thursday doing geyser experiments with soda and Mentos, and they gathered in the hallway near chambers with headbands reading “Pre-K rocks!”
It is unclear what is in the bottle of the girl all the way on the left. Maybe apple juice.
As a reminder, Hillary Clinton campaigned with Mayor Kenney two months ago, and was inspired by his plan:
“I’m very supportive of the mayor’s proposal to tax soda to get universal preschool for kids,” she said. “We need universal preschool and if that’s a way to do it, that’s how we should do it.”
Thanks to our source: