Philadelphia’s new mayor, Jim Kenney, has proposed a tax of 3 cents per ounce of sugary drinks – soda, iced tea, etc. – levied on distributors to raise an estimated $400 million over the next five years. If enacted, the revenues generated would be used to pay for expanded pre-Kindergarten programs and facilities upgrades at recreational centers.
Mayor Kenney’s proposal is misguided. Raising the price of soda will hurt the bottom line of the city’s taxpayers, 26 percent of whom are in poverty – the highest percentage among America’s biggest cities. The City Council is expected to make a final determination in June. National Taxpayers Union will continue to monitor these developments and urges all residents of Philadelphia to contact the City Council and tell them to oppose this ill-conceived tax hike.