First Full Year of Soda Tax Revenue Puts Philadelphia $13M+ Short of Goal

The final monthly revenue amount for the Philadelphia Beverage Tax is in, with the December revenue bringing in $6.5 million for the city's coffers, according to preliminary reports.

The December revenue is an uptick from November's yield of $5.9 million – which matched the previous lowest monthly revenue figures. In total, the first 12 months of the PBT generated $78.8 million in additional revenue for the city.

Overshadowing the positives the revenue has already brought about – the creation of more than 2,000 pre-K seats and the start of the Rebuild program to improve Philadelphia libraries, recreation centers and parks – is the fact that the calendar year total falls more than $13 million shy of the Kenney Administration's fiscal year projection of $92 million.


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Yet at least one expert would deem $78.8 million a sign of the tax's success. Robert Inman, an economist with University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, told the Business Journal last year that any new tax – let alone a sugary drinks tax that has little historical data to build an estimate off of – would be considered a success if it hit within "85 to 90 percent of projections." In this case, that's a range of $78.2 million to $82.8 million.

Read more about the first year of the soda tax on

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