PHILADELPHIA - A 7-member Commonwealth Court panel in Philadelphia issued a 5-2 ruling on June 14, 2017, that found that the sweetened drink tax passed by the Philadelphia City Council in June 2016 is not double-taxation, as alleged by Big Soda’s local and state-based trade associations.
Jim Krieger, Executive Director of Healthy Food America, stated that:
“A decisive ruling by Philadelphia’s Commonwealth Court should reassure families that a tax on sugary drinks will bring lasting benefits, even if Big Soda continues its disruptive attacks to protect their profits by appealing the case to the state Supreme Court. Big Soda was unsuccessful when it spent $10.7 million one year ago to protect its bottom line by opposing the sweetened beverage tax. Today, one costly court case later, its unsuccessful effort to unwind what Philadelphia leaders, grassroots community organizers, public health advocates and local education experts put in place should be another signal to them that their deep pockets cannot buy their way through everything. We are hopeful that the health benefits resulting from decreased consumption of sweetened drinks are widespread throughout the community and when combined with the tax revenues that support early education, parks, libraries and community centers, that Philadelphians experience all of the benefits of a tax on sugary drinks.”
About Healthy Food America
Healthy Food America acts on science to drive change in policy and industry practice so that all people can live in places where nutritious food is easy to obtain and exposure to unhealthy products is limited. Chronic diseases caused by poor nutrition from unhealthy foods and beverages are the major causes of death and poor health in the U.S., including obesity, diabetes, heart and liver disease or tooth decay. Communities of color and low-income families are hardest hit by these preventable conditions. Poor nutrition is the largest contributor to all these diseases, driven by the pervasive presence and relentless marketing of junk food and beverages, especially to kids and the most vulnerable. We are coordinating with other advocates to energize a national movement to roll back added sugars in food and beverages to healthful levels. Please read more about our work at HealthyFoodAmerica.Org.