It was not long ago that we addressed the case in Philadelphia that is headed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court over the city’s Jan. 1, 2017 imposition of a 1.5 cents tax per fluid ounce on the distribution of certain sugar filled beverages. The plaintiffs lost in the trial and appellate courts, and promptly filed their petition for allowance of appeal in mid-July, hoping that the high court will agree that the beverage tax is unlawful for, among other things, duplicating Pennsylvania’s sales and use taxes.
PHILADELPHIA’S SODA TAX DEBATE
Sugar-sweetened beverage taxes have raised a fair amount of controversy. For instance, in a blog titled Soda Tax Experiment Failing in Philadelphia Amid Consumer Angst and Revenue Shortfalls, the Tax Foundation disapproves of the city’s effort because, it is not generating the promised revenue, has hurt local employment, and harmed low-income taxpayers disproportionately. For these reasons, the Tax Foundation argues, “Philadelphia’s experience serves as a cautionary tale for other areas weighing similar beverage taxes.”