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Pennsylvania: Fight to block soda tax goes to the state Supreme Court

Last December, a trial court dismissed a lawsuit that a group of stakeholders filed against the city of Philadelphia and the Department of Revenue, as we described at the time. In their complaint, the plaintiffs alleged that the so-called beverage tax, the imposition and collection of which began on Jan. 1, 2017, unlawfully duplicated the already-existing sales and use tax on soft drinks in violation of the Pennsylvania Sterling Act; that it unlawfully circumvents the state taxing power; and that it violates the state constitution’s uniformity clause. The uniformity clause provides that “[a]ll taxes shall be uniform, upon the same class of subjects, within the territorial limits of the authority levying the tax, and shall be levied and collected under general laws.”

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