Historic 'Soda Tax' Gets Final Approval in Philadelphia | NBC 10 Philadelphia
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Historic 'Soda Tax' Gets Final Approval in Philadelphia

An opposition group has vowed to challenge the tax in court

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    Philadelphia passes an historic tax on sugary and diet drinks, but what will it cost you? NBC10's Drew Smith breaks it down. (Published Thursday, June 16, 2016)

    Philadelphia became one of the first big cities in America to implement a beverage tax on sugary and diet drinks when City Council gave final approval Thursday afternoon.

    The legislation for a 1.5-cent-per-ounce so-called "soda tax" was approved 13-4 by the governing body, which spent weeks debating the merits of the levy. Councilmembers voting against the bill were the body's three Republicans, Brian O'Neill, David Oh, and Al Taubenberger, and Democrat Maria Quinones-Sanchez.Philadelphia, Now First Major City with Soda TaxPhiladelphia, Now First Major City with Soda TaxThere will now be one and a half cent per ounce tax on sugary drinks, no matter if they are bottled, canned, fountain, or even diet. NBC10's Lauren Mayk was there as the contested tax came to its final vote after months of controversy. (Published Thursday, June 16, 2016)

    About $91 million is expected to be raised, and much of the new funds will go to Mayor Jim Kenney's plans for universal pre-K.

    Hundreds again flooded council chambers Thursday for one more day of rigorous debate. Opponents of the tax include beverage distributors and drivers and lobbyists for "big soda." Prior to the vote, some said the tax is illegal.Where Philadelphia's New Soda Tax Money Will GoWhere Philadelphia's New Soda Tax Money Will GoThere will now be one and a half cent per ounce tax on sugary drinks, no matter if they are bottled, canned, fountain, or even diet. NBC10's Aundrea Cline-Thomas tells who will benefit from the new tax. (Published Thursday, June 16, 2016)

    The vote came on the final day of council's spring session before the body's summer recess. It represents a big win for Mayor Kenney early in his first term, as similar legislation failed twice before.

    Immediately after the vote, an opposition coalition called Philadelphians Against the Grocery Tax vowed to take its fight to the courts.Soda Tax Vote DaySoda Tax Vote DayPhiladelphia will become the first major American city with a soda tax if City Council approves a 1.5-center-per-ounce tax on sugary beverages and diet sodas. (Published Thursday, June 16, 2016)

    "This tax is unconstitutional, and that's why we will take this fight to the courts to defend our broad-ranging coalition of more than 30,000 Philadelphians and 1,600 businesses and community organizations," the group said in a statement.

    Mayor Kenney also released a statement saying, “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. I commend City Council for working with these community leaders to make quality, affordable pre-K, community schools and systemic improvements to parks, rec centers and libraries a reality. I also thank my colleagues in Council for working with our administration to craft a shared agenda that will improve the education, health and prosperity of children and families all across our city for years to come. Today would not have been possible without everyone coming together in support of a fair future for every zipcode.City Council Gives Early Approval on Soda TaxCity Council Gives Early Approval on Soda TaxA Soda Tax proposal is advancing after city officials struck a deal on Wednesday. The city says the tax would raise over $91M over the next year. (Published Thursday, June 9, 2016)