Philly’s soda tax

Should you have to pay more for fattening, sugary soft drinks? Voters in Philadelphia are about to weigh in, if you will. Next week the city is placing a measure on the ballot to put a tax of 1.5 cents for every ounce of a drink that includes sugar or sweeteners. The New York Times said it would total about 30 cents for a 20-ounce drink.

Berkeley, Calif., has a soda tax, but Philly would become the first large U.S. city to pass one.

Said the Times: “Mayor Jim Kenney’s original proposal was to tax sugary drinks at 3 cents an ounce, a rate that would have doubled the price of many sodas. Aware of the political challenges, he tried a novel strategy to promote his tax. Instead of selling it as a nanny state measure meant to make the city healthier, he presented it as a big untapped source of revenue that could be used to pay for popular initiatives, including expanded prekindergarten, and renovations of city libraries and recreation centers.”

Good idea or bad? Email me at rrollins@coxhio.com.

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