Philadelphia introduces soda tax

Philadelphia introduces soda tax

Philadelphia is the first major city in the United States to introduce a soda tax: starting next year, it will require 0.5 dollar for every liter of soda, despite retailers and manufacturers trying to fight the decision every step of the way.

Manufacturers threaten to sue

Small retailers fear they will lose plenty of customers, because they will just buy their soda elsewhere. Soda manufacturers are also not happy with the decision and are even considering a court case.


Philadelphia is the first city to get past the soda lobby, a step where many other cities failed: for instance, New York also tried to pass similar initiatives, which were all turned down at the last minute after extensive lobbying efforts from organizations like the American Beverage Association.


Money to increase budget

Originally, the city council pointed out that the tax was an attempt to increase the population's health, but mayor Jim Kenny later admitted the tax mainly serves to increase Philadelphia's budget. In the first year, the revenue should reach an estimated 91 million dollars (80 million euro). When he indicated why the tax was created, Kenney made sure it was approved, despite huge resistance.


San Francisco, Oakland and Boulder will also vote on similar taxes in November and if those cities also approve the tax, it spells bad news for American soda manufacturers, which have had to deal with eleven straight years of volume drops already.