With the implementation of Philadelphia’s so-called "Soda Tax" quickly approaching, city leaders unveiled a new website for impacted distributors and dealers.
Mayor Jim Kenney and city Revenue Commissioner Frank Breslin held a news conference at City Hall Friday morning where they talked about "other outreach efforts (the city) is conducting to provide information to distributors and dealers who are affected by the tax," said a news release from the mayor’s office.
A Beta version of the website was already live Friday morning that explains the differences between a distributor – someone who sells sweetened beverages – and a dealer – any person selling a sugary beverage.
The 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax takes effect on Jan. 1. Anyone not doing their part as a seller or distributor could face collection agents, said the city.
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The beverage tax will be used to fund universal Pre-K, rec centers, libraries and parks. Kenney said the city expects to make nearly $10 million off the tax over five years.
"First and foremost, this tax is about empowering our city to move full speed ahead toward a better Philadelphia," said Kenney. "The revenue from the Philly Bev Tax will help us tackle these debilitating issues head-on. By implementing this tax and focusing funds on schooling, recreation centers, parks, and libraries, we open a world of possibilities up to our children, and we give them the head start as well as the foundations for growth that can take them down the path to bright futures."
The city plans to reach out to businesses impacted by the new tax.
"We need to reach not only the distributors but also the thousands dealers in Philadelphia that they distribute to," said Breslin. "We know that businesses want to comply and we are giving them the information and tools to do so, whether it is distributors that need to register or dealers looking for a registered distributor."