Policy Profile: Philadelphia, PA Sweetened Drink Tax

Highlights

  • In June, 2016, Philadelphia, PA joined Berkeley, CA as the second, and largest city to pass a tax on sweetened drinks, despite Big Soda outspending Philly‘s pro-tax coalition by about 5 to 1. It will take effect on January 1, 2017.
  • The campaign was framed as a source of funds for anti-poverty projects rather than as a public health measure, although health benefits were included as a secondary frame.
  • Philadelphia’s Mayor Jim Kenney created a win-win model for other large cities. At 1.5 cents per ounce, the tax will raise significant funds and is projected to prevent chronic disease cases and reduce health care costs.

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