Ax the Bev Tax

In The News 

Opinion: Retailers need Harrisburg to provide Philly beverage tax relief 
The Philadelphia Business Journal | February 12th, 2020
More than three years after it was enacted, the Philadelphia beverage tax continues to have a detrimental impact on city stores, from increasing expenses for all consumers to driving shoppers out of the city to causing the closure of a popular grocery store in a food desert.

María Quiñones-Sánchez is a fierce advocate for City Council’s 7th District | Endorsement
Philadelphia Inquirer | May 15, 2019
Residents of the 7th District have a fierce advocate in María Quiñones-Sánchez. She represents Kensington, which bears the brunt of the opioid crisis. While her view doesn’t always align with this board — such as opposition to the soda tax — Sánchez is willing to listen, discuss, and evolve on issues. Recently she traveled to Canada to learn more about supervised injection sites, although she opposes one in her district.

Key black clergy group picks Williams over Kenney in Philly mayor’s race
WHYY | May 7, 2019
The Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity has endorsed state Sen. Anthony Williams in the Philadelphia mayor’s race, giving his underfunded campaign a much-needed boost in the three-way Democratic primary on May 21.

Philly’s Black Clergy back State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams, citing disappointment in Mayor Kenney
Philadelphia Inquirer | May 7, 2019
The Rev. Jay Broadnax, president of the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity, said his group had “high hopes“ for Mayor Jim Kenney when he first took office in 2016. Three years later, it’s “disappointed and unsatisfied,” he said Tuesday morning as the group of pastors endorsed State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams in the May 21 Democratic primary for mayor.

Philly's Black clergy group endorses Williams for mayor
Philadelphia Tribune | May 7, 2019
The Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity on Tuesday announced it is supporting underdog Democratic mayoral candidate state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams just two weeks before the party’s primary.

Black Clergy of Philadelphia Endorse Anthony Williams
NBC10 | May 7, 2019
With the election two weeks away, the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity endorsed Anthony Williams for the city's mayor over Jim Kenney. They spoke to NBC10 about why they believe Williams will win.

Black support for soda tax low, according to poll
Philadelphia Tribune | May 4, 2019
African Americans are sour on the sweetened beverage tax, according to a new poll. But some Black leaders see the disapproval of Mayor Jim Kenney’s 1.5-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks as a symptom of something more heading into the May 21 primary: Kenney is losing support among African Americans.

Anthony Williams for Mayor
Philly Mag | May 2, 2019
Our feelings are more positive, though, about Anthony Williams, the longtime state legislator from Southwest Philadelphia. We’ll admit we were unimpressed with Williams’s campaign for mayor four years ago.

Critiquing Kenney: Could the mayor’s signature soda tax sink his re-election bid?
WHYY | April 30, 2019
Throwing a party is a lot more expensive in Philadelphia, thanks to Mayor Jim Kenney, said Rita Grant of Cobbs Creek. Because of Kenney’s 1.5 cent-per-ounce tax on sweetened beverages, the 24-year-old said she had to make a recent barbecue BYOB. “I couldn’t afford to supply the sodas,” she said laughing.

A timeline of Philadelphia’s soda tax
Philadelphia Inquirer | April 29, 2019
In 2016 Philadelphia became the first big U.S. city to pass a tax on soda. As Mayor Jim Kenney’s signature legislation, the levy funds pre-K, community schools, and improvements to parks, recreation centers, and libraries. Since taking effect in January 2017, the 1.5-cents-per-ounce tax has remained controversial. Here’s the tax’s history.

Could the Philly City Council elections determine fate of the soda tax?
Philadelphia Inquirer | April 29, 2019
Philadelphia City Council passed the city’s historic and controversial tax on sweetened drinks in 2016 after intense debate and on a 13-4 vote. But what will be the fate of the tax in 2020? That may depend on the outcome of the May 21 primary election.

Inquirer Poll: What Philly voters think of Mayor Jim Kenney, crime, and the soda tax
Philadelphia Inquirer | April 29, 2019
In the first independent poll to measure opinion on the so-called soda tax on sweetened beverages, 62 percent of respondents call it a failure, and 55 percent say it should be repealed. However, voters like the pre-K programs it funds; by a ratio of 3-1, they say a different tax should pay for them.

Many Philadelphia politicians will not support soda tax if elected
Delaware Valley News | April 22, 2019
Nobody likes to pay additional taxes and when a politician votes to tax the citizenry, they are taking their political life and playing Russian Roulette with it.

Acme provided evidence of soda tax damaging sales — even while the city denied it
Philadelphia Inquirer | April 18, 2019
In the ever-fizzy soda war, the Big Boy has suited up and trotted onto the field. The Big Boy is Acme Markets, born in South Philly in 1891. In January, we heard from ShopRite, which has six stores in Philly. CEO Jeff Brown opened his books for me to prove the sweetened beverage tax was hurting him big time and forced him to close his store in Philadelphia’s Overbrook section. Big Boy Acme has 16 stores in Philadelphia, more than any other chain, and it, too, is getting clobbered, president Jim Perkins tells me in an exclusive interview.

Soda Tax Fizz Out
Wall Street Journal | March 28, 2019
Philadelphia fought all the way to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court last summer to keep its soda tax. But primary elections are in May, and Democrats fighting to keep their City Council seats are having second thoughts. Other cities can learn from this spectacle of regret.

The Moral Case for Why We Must Repeal Philadelphia’s Soda Tax
Philadelphia Magazine | March 21, 2019
"The Philadelphia beverage tax — I know it has people angry about it, but it’s like Obamacare,” Mayor Jim Kenney told a crowd of Black journalists while answering a question about funding universal pre-K and recreation centers during a Q&A session last week. “I can’t pay for it without the revenue.” The Affordable Care Act, more popularly known as Obamacare, resembles Philadelphia’s soda tax in exactly one way: It is a landmark policy championed by a first-term Democratic administration. And here’s just one way it differs: Other Democrats aren’t out there trying to take it down. Last Thursday, City Council member Maria Quinones-Sanchez introduced a bill, cosponsored by six colleagues, that will give City Council the ability to alter the scope of the soda tax, such as reducing the rate and type of beverages being covered. If passed, the bill could begin to phase out the tax as soon as next year, leading up to its eventual death.

Council considering proposals to study, possibly amend, soda tax
Curbed Philadelphia | March 18, 2019
The soda tax, which over the past year has supplied funding for Mayor Jim Kenney’s Rebuild Program, has long been wrapped up in controversy. And now it looks like some City Council members are examining the first steps in legislation that could minimize the tax.

I was glad to hear that City Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez introduced legislation that could phase out the soda tax, because I believe the soda tax is a scam

Kill the soda tax? Council candidates are sweet on repeal
Billy Penn | March 15, 2019
The soda tax battles are revving back up. Legislation introduced in City Council this week would phase out the levy on sugary sweetened beverages — a signature piece of Mayor Kenney’s first term — and it already has notable support. The thinly detailed proposal wouldn’t kill the programs supported by the tax, but would rather look for alternate revenue streams.

Philadelphia Citizen | March 15, 2019
The art of political spin has been around forever, from the ancient Greeks who crafted rhetoric to enflame the masses, to Woodrow Wilson’s wartime propaganda arm of the federal government. But lately it seems that spin—the deliberate crafting of words for purely political gain—is all we have. Sometimes it feels like our public life is little more than a set of competing messages, all meant to manipulate.

Ax the Bev Tax | March 14, 2019
We appreciate that these councilmembers recognize that the beverage tax is a harmful policy. However, we don’t need a study to know that the tax hurts working families across Philadelphia and should be repealed. This tax has cost hundreds of job and caused the closure of one West Philadelphia grocery store – which closed its doors for the final time this morning. “The tax was corrupt in its very creation – passed as part of a revenge plot by one union against another. Philadelphians deserve more from their elected officials. It is time for City Council to do the right thing. The city has plenty of money in its $368 million surplus and needs to find another way to fund important programs like Pre-K and parks and recreation centers.

Philly City Council reportedly eyes rolling back soda tax in coming years
PhillyVoice | March 14, 2019
Philadelphia and Mayor Jim Kenney’s contentious soda tax seems to be in hot (carbonated) water. Philadelphia City Councilwoman María Quiñones-Sánchez introduced a new bill Thursday which would phase out part of the tax on sweetened beverages, according to WHYY, which went into effect in early 2017.

Philadelphia Council moves to phase out soda tax
Plan Philly | March 14, 2019
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney just got handed a new and potentially dire challenge to the city’s soda tax — the signature achievement of his first term. A bill introduced by City Councilwoman María Quiñones-Sánchez at a City Council meeting on Thursday would gradually phase out a portion of the tax on sweetened beverages through 2021. The bill lacks specific numbers, so it could phase out the tax entirely or just reduce it.

Council introduces bill to phase out, potentially eliminate soda tax
Philly Inquirer | March 14, 2019
City Council introduced legislation Thursday that could significantly amend and potentially eliminate the controversial sweetened beverage tax. A bill sponsored by Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez and six colleagues would allow Council to ramp down certain aspects of the tax beginning in 2020, from the rate — currently at 1.5 cents per fluid ounce — to what beverages are included in it. As written, it does not specify what those changes might be.

West Philadelphia ShopRite closes, cites soda tax
6ABC | March 14, 2019
A West Philadelphia neighborhood is losing one of its grocery stores Thursday. The owner of the ShopRite on the 6700 block of Haverford Avenue said back in January that he would be closing the location.

‘We’re heartbroken’: Customers say goodbye to ShopRite that is closing and blaming soda tax
Philadelphia Inquirer | March 14, 2019
Didi Anderson walked two blocks from her home to the ShopRite in West Philadelphia on Wednesday morning to buy a can of peas for beef stew. But she lingered inside, filling her cart with more than just peas, as she realized that the Haverford Avenue store, which will close Thursday, was offering all items at a 75 percent discount. Anderson was happy about the low prices but not the closing of the store, which will leave her neighborhood without a supermarket.

ShopRite In Overbrook Closing Its Doors Due To Beverage Tax, Owner Says
CBS Philly | March 14, 2019
A ShopRite store in the Overbrook section of Philadelphia will be closing its doors Thursday morning. The owner of the store on Haverford Avenue blames the closure on sales dropping off since the passage of the Philadelphia Beverage Tax. Signs outside the store announce the closure and blame it on the beverage tax.

As Overbrook ShopRite closes, owner says two more stores are at risk
Philadelphia Tribune | March 12, 2019
As the ShopRite grocery store in Overbrook is slated to close this week after three decades in business, owner Jeff Brown says it might not be the last of his stores to shut its doors due to the city’s sweetened beverage tax.

City of Philadelphia Voter Survey
David Binder Research
A recent poll among likely Democratic primary voters in Philadelphia voters shows that Democratic voters are opposed to the Philadelphia beverage tax by a wide margin. A strong majority, 59% oppose the beverage tax, while 38% support it.

Poll: Majority of Philly voters hate soda tax but may not base votes on it | March 5, 2019
The poll found Democratic voters oppose the tax, 59 percent to 38 percent. By a similar margin, 60 percent of the voters in the poll support repealing the tax, while 36 percent want to keep it.

Sweetening the city’s pot: Why Philadelphia is still grappling with the soda tax
WHYY | March 5, 2019
It’s been almost three years since Philadelphia passed its sweetened beverage tax, better known as the “soda tax.” Mayor Jim Kenney said it would help bring in millions for expanding access to pre-K, and fixing up the city’s parks, recreation centers, and libraries. But it remains controversial. Many Philadelphians don’t like it. The beverage industry continues to fight it. And some retailers say the tax is hurting their businesses. Now, the soda tax is one of the biggest hurdles Kenney faces in his re-election bid.

Was Philadelphia's Soda Tax the Result of a Union-Versus-Union Political Fight?
Reason | February 14, 2019
Officially, Philadelphia's much loathed soda tax—the highest such tax in the country—was approved as a way to generate revenue for the city's new pre-K program. Unofficially, like all vice taxes, it was intended to reduce Philadelphians' consumption of sugary beverages—though it has mostly just changed where people buy soda and hasn't improved public health at all.

Beverage industry renews calls to ax soda tax after Dougherty, Henon indictments
Philadelphia Tribune | February 12, 2019
The beverage industry has remained unusually quiet since authorities alleged the source of the city’s sweetened beverage tax rested with indicted labor boss John Dougherty. That silence is over — only months before the primary elections.

Alan Butkovitz: Was Mayor Kenney really blind to soda tax motivations?
Philadelphia Inquirer | February 6, 2019
One of the more stunning revelations to come from last week’s federal indictment against Local 98 leader John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty, City Councilman Bobby Henon and others was the implication that Philadelphia’s controversial soda tax was motivated by a corrupt intent — to damage Teamsters truck drivers and eliminate 100 of their jobs. Now, the Kenney administration is desperately trying to argue that they didn’t have an inkling that was the case.

Brazen corruption and pettiness hurts the most vulnerable
WHYY | February 1, 2019
For years I’ve opposed the Kenney administration’s soda tax because studies showed such a tax would affect poor people of color disproportionately. But the words of a City Councilman recounted in a federal indictment released this week show that there was even more reason to fight the tax.

Five Companies That Are Capitalizing On Helping The Poor Get Healthier
Forbes | January 30, 2019
Philadelphia grocery store chain Brown’s Super Stores – a successful for-profit business – is a proponent of the “social design” process, selling suburban quality food in poor “food desert” neighborhoods in Philadelphia. Their approach focuses on delivering positive results for both business and the community.

Who is Johnny Doc, Philadelphia’s most powerful union leader?
Philadelphia Inquirer | January 30, 2019
John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty is the most powerful pol in Pennsylvania who’s never won an election. … The man who’s led Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Philadelphia for a quarter-century has only grown more powerful, amassing unrivaled influence across the state. Dougherty helped push through City Council Mayor Kenney’s sweetened-beverage tax, a.k.a. the soda tax.

Indictment of Johnny Doc, Councilman Bobby Henon heaps scrutiny on Philly’s soda tax
Philadelphia Inquirer | January 30, 2019
When City Council passed a tax on sweetened beverages in June 2016, Mayor Jim Kenney heralded the measure as a way to change “the narrative of poverty in our city” by funding an expansion of pre-K. To Electricians union leader John J. Dougherty and Councilman Bobby Henon — two of the key players who helped steer the controversial legislation through Council — it served another purpose, according to prosecutors: punishing a political enemy.

Gap between rich and poor growing, fuelling global anger - Oxfam
Reuters | January 21, 2019
A new billionaire was created every two days last year, just as the poorest half of the world's population saw their wealth decline by 11 percent.

Is Philly soda tax solely to blame for closing of West Philly ShopRite?
Philadelphia Inquirer | January 17, 2019
When Jeff Brown announced this month that he would close his ShopRite store in West Philadelphia, he blamed the city’s tax on soda and other sweetened beverages. Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration hit back, defending the tax — likely to be a major issue in the upcoming mayoral and City Council elections — and saying Brown was using it as a scapegoat.

Opinion: What message does Mayor Kenney send to future Philly biz owners by dismissing ShopRite’s soda tax struggles?
Philadelphia Inquirer | January 15, 2019
In 2016, when Philadelphia enacted the tax on sweetened beverages, Mayor Jim Kenney issued a press release claiming that it “will improve the education, health and prosperity of children and families all across our city for years to come.” Kenney’s reference to improving health alluded to the theory that, by raising the cost of soft drinks, the tax would decrease their purchase and consumption. To that end, although the 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax was imposed on the beverage distributors, it has resulted in increased prices charged to consumers.

Soda tax takes toll on stores near the city’s edge
Philadelphia Inquirer | January 12, 2019
Once again, Philadelphia’s soda tax has hit the news. This time, the broadside against the tax came from one of Philadelphia’s leading supermarket entrepreneurs, Jeff Brown. He announced that he was going to close one of his stores because of the impact of the tax on business at that store. While only Brown knows why the supermarket will be shuttered, it should surprise nobody that a business located near the edge of the city would bear the brunt of the soda tax’s effect.

What Are the Soda Tax Facts?
The Philadelphia Citizen | January 11, 2019
Last week, in the aftermath of the announcement that Jeff Brown would be closing his full-service grocery store at 67th and Haverford as a result of the city’s sweetened beverage—or soda—tax, I wrote that, in effect, the Kenney administration, in the guise of progressivism, seems to be waging a war on poor people.

Residents of Philadelphia found a novel way around the city’s ‘unpopular’ soda tax
Market Watch | January 11, 2019
Nearly two years on, the verdict is in on Philadelphia’s “soda tax.” And it isn’t good. The tax, justified as a kind of “sin tax” in the national war on obesity, did next to nothing for people’s health, new research has shown. Philadelphians didn’t cut calories as a result of the tax on sweetened drinks, nor did they shift towards drinking anything healthier.

One supermarket owner is a casualty of Philadelphia’s soda tax | Dom Giordano
Philadelphia Inquirer | January 10, 2019
That’s a good quality to have, because I think Kenney’s grand plan to lift future generations out of poverty through a beverage tax hit a major dose of reality this past week. I talked on my radio show with Jeff Brown, owner of 12 supermarkets in the city and suburbs that will become 11 when he closes his ShopRite at 67th and Haverford in West Philly, because of what he says is a loss of revenue caused by the city’s sugary-beverage tax.

City’s attack on ShopRite owner fails to fizz
Philadelphia Inquirer | January 8, 2019
Why would someone close down a profitable business? There might be many reasons, but why shouldn’t we believe Jeff Brown when he says he’s shutting his ShopRite in Philadelphia’s Overbrook section because the soda tax drove it into the red? The city says it doesn’t believe him.

Grocery store owner says West Philadelphia ShopRite will close due to city’s soda tax
Pennsylvania Business Report | January 7, 2019
The owner of a ShopRite grocery store in West Philadelphia announced recently that the store will close in March, blaming Philadelphia’s tax on soda and other sweetened beverages for the decrease in sales that made the store unprofitable.

A Soda Tax and Consequences
Wall Street Journal | January 4, 2019
When Philadelphia became the first major U.S. city to pass a soda tax in 2016, Mayor Jim Kenney said it would improve public health while funding universal pre-K. Two years in, the policy hasn’t delivered on that elite ideological goal.

The Philadelphia Citizen | January 4, 2019
Jeff Brown is a big, cheerful back slapper, as visits to any of his soon-to-be 12 Philly area grocery stores attest. In fact, at the entrance to his ShopRite at 67th and Haverford, there’s a life-size (albeit slimmer) smiling cardboard cutout of the social impact entrepreneur, welcoming customers, many of whom have been shopping there multiple times a week for years.

West Philly Shoprite Closing, Owner Blames Soda Tax: Reports
Patch | January 3, 2019
The Shoprite on Haverford Avenge in West Philadelphia is closing in March, and the owner is blaming the city's soda tax, according to reports.

Taxed To Death
Townhall | January 3, 2019
A successful grocer in the Philadelphia area has been forced to close one of his Shoprite locations because of the city’s absurd soda tax.

Jeff Brown to close West Philly ShopRite, blames soda tax
The Philadelphia Inquirer | January 3, 2019
A ShopRite store in West Philadelphia will close in March, its owner announced Wednesday, placing blame on Philadelphia’s tax on soda and other sweetened beverages for a 23 percent loss in sales that has made the store unprofitable.

West Philadelphia ShopRite closing, owner blames soda tax
WHYY | January 3, 2019
A Philadelphia supermarket is closing, and its owner is blaming it on the city’s sweetened beverage tax. Owner Jeff Brown, one of the most high-profile opponents of the 1.5-cent per ounce tax, said his ShopRite at 67th Street and Haverford Avenue will shut for good in March.

Beverage tax causes ShopRite on Haverford Avenue to close
The Philadelphia Tribune | January 2, 2019
Citing the city’s controversial beverage tax, an Overbrook supermarket is slated for closure in three months. After 30 years of serving the community, the ShopRite supermarket located at 67th Street and Haverford Avenue, has announced it will close on March 14.

West Philly ShopRite near suburban line closing, owner blames soda tax
KYW Newsradio | January 2, 2019
The CEO of a chain of more than a dozen ShopRites and Fresh Grocer supermarkets in the region, including seven in the city, is closing a ShopRite in West Philadelphia, blaming the tax on soda and sweetened beverages. But the city and supporters of the beverage tax question his motives.

ShopRite to close in West Philadelphia; owner blames soda tax
6ABC | January 2, 2019
The owner of a West Philadelphia grocery store is getting ready to close the doors, leaving neighbors without a convenient place to shop. He's blaming the city's controversial tax on sweetened beverages, known as the "soda tax."

City Council plans soda tax hearings
Philadelphia Tribune | December 26, 2018
The controversy bubbling up around the city’s sugary beverage tax and its finances will continue to crackle and pop in the new year as City Council plans to put the levy under the microscope before the May primary.

Soda tax debate a factor in upcoming Mayoral race
6ABC | December 17, 2018
Soda tax debate a factor in upcoming Mayoral race?

Here’s everything Philly’s soda tax money is (and isn’t) paying for
Billy Penn | December 12, 2018
Earlier this year, City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart’s first report on the so-called soda tax sparked a war of words with Mayor Jim Kenney, whose reputation is closely tied to the controversial levy and the programs it’s intended to fund.

OP-ED: Beverage Taxes Are Not the Health Solution that Working Families Need
Black Press USA | December 9, 2018
Every month, it seems another state or local government holds a vote on whether they should tax sugar-sweetened beverages. Recently, a broad coalition of Washingtonians, including labor unions such as the Teamsters, Machinists, and Building Trades, voted to ensure that groceries and beverages are exempted from new taxes that raise prices and cost jobs.

Black clergy members want city to repeal 2017 soda tax
The Philadelphia Tribune | November 29, 2018
Nearly two years after the city’s sugary beverage tax went into effect, members of Philadelphia’s Black clergy are calling for its repeal over concerns that the revenue-generator is regressive and disproportionately taxing African Americans and the poor.

Black Clergy Leaders Push for Change to Philly’s Beverage Tax
NBC Philadelphia | November 29, 2018
A new fight is bubbling up in the debate over Philadelphia’s beverage tax.

Making People Poorer Is Not Good for Public Health
PDA | October 12, 2018
In January 2017, the city of Philadelphia imposed a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, ostensibly in the name of public health. Politicians promised that the new tax would raise $92.4 million, which would be earmarked for public education and job creation initiatives.

Philadelphia’s soda tax is just making people buy their sugary drinks outside city limits
Philly Voice | September 21, 2018
Folks are going the extra mile, literally, to save big on beverages.

Is Mayor Kenney delaying a tool that would let taxpayers see how their money is spent?
Philadelphia Inquirer | September 14, 2018
Sometimes we get the feeling that Philadelphia's government isn't doing the best job balancing its checkbook. Maybe it was in April when we learned that $33 million in taxpayer dollars went "missing."

Around the country, incomes are rising. In Philly, they're falling.
Philadelphia Inquirer | September 12, 2018
Out of step with the rest of America and its own suburbs, Philadelphia has remained stubbornly mired in poverty while its median household income has plummeted, a stunning development that puzzles experts and belies the city’s self-styled image as a revitalized metropolis on the rise.

Philadelphia’s Tax on Sweetened Beverages Raises Prices of Taxed Products and Affects Product Availability
Mathematica Policy Research | September 10, 2018
Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers in Philadelphia are passing the full amount of the city’s beverage tax on to consumers, according to a new National Bureau of Economic Research working paper.

Video: Mayor Kenney gets soda tax win, local reax to Trump-Putin meeting
ABC6 | July 23, 2018
“It’s a fiction that the [Philadelphia beverage tax] is on the distributor. Anybody that’s ever worked any kind of job knows that that tax is going to be passed on to…[the consumer.]”

The Philly Soda Tax May Be Legal, But It's Still Bad Policy
Reason | July 20, 2018
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled this week that Philadelphia's 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on soda and other sugary beverages does not conflict with state law.

Soda Tax Haters: You Still Have One Fighting Chance
Philly Mag | July 19, 2018
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the legality of Philadelphia’s controversial “soda tax” on Wednesday, leaving legislation as the only remaining option for opponents to strike down the sugary drink levy.

Study finds that Pennsylvania struggles compared to other states in starting new businesses
Pennsylvania Watchdog | July 16, 2018
A state the size of Pennsylvania, with its robust history of manufacturing and access to plentiful natural resources, inevitably has a big impact on the national economy.

Welcome to Taxadelphia, where you pay more than you realize | Stu Bykofsky
Philly Inquirer | July 10, 2018
Philadelphia is like a zoo with a menagerie of taxes, licenses, and fees. We have on display fearsome birds of prey, slithery reptiles, woolly mammoths, and an assortment of chilling bloodsuckers.

Are Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Taxes Regressive? Evidence from Household Retail Purchases
Tax Foundation | June 19, 2018
Several U.S. cities in recent years have sought to expand their portfolio of taxes to include sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) as a means to combat obesity, diabetes, and other diet-induced health problems. These reforms join the legacy of movements in behavior-correcting beverage taxes on alcohol and other “sin” products. Perhaps the most common complaint of these taxes, however, is their anticipated regressivity.

Philadelphia Citizen | June 18, 2018
Remember the mayoral campaign of 2015, when then-candidate Jim Kenney talked about the importance of funding pre-K and refurbishing neighborhood parks and rec centers? Many of us were supportive, particularly because the mechanism he’d targeted to fund these much-needed programs didn’t involve new taxes but, rather, an innovative budgeting practice that has worked elsewhere.

A Small Victory on the Global Spread of Soda Taxes
Tax Foundation | June 15, 2018
Earlier this month, an independent panel advising the World Health Organization (WHO) defied expectations. Instead of recommending that nations across the globe tax sugary drinks, the panel stopped just short, due to pressure from the United States.

Opinion: City Hall, stop the dysfunction and balance your checkbook
Philly Inquirer | June 13, 2018
Five years ago, columnist Helen Ubiñas coined the term “the Philly Shrug” to celebrate what she called “that maddening whatdya-gonna-do?” attitude that all but ensures that nothing that needs changing in this city gets changed.

Sloppy city bookkeeping ripe for abuse, Philly Controller says in audit
Philly Inquirer | June 12, 2018
Philadelphia’s government has the worst accounting practices among the nation’s 10 largest cities, with $924 million in bookkeeping errors alone last year, according to an audit released Tuesday by City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart.

Opinion: The soda tax is bad for business in Pa.
Penn Live | June 7, 2018
With more than 2,500 local municipalities, Pennsylvania stands out for the number of local governments that are contained within our state's borders.

State Rep From Allegheny County Mounts Challenge To Philadelphia's Soda Tax
WESA Pittsburgh | June 5, 2018
State Representative Mark Mustio (R-44) of Allegheny County is fronting a charge to repeal Philadelphia's soda tax, and prevent similar actions from taking place elsewhere in the Commonwealth.

Letter: We must lead the charge to pass HB 2241
Bucks County Courier Times | June 3, 2018
Local businesses like ours need protection from new food, beverage and container taxes that would make it impossible for us to compete against big national chains and online grocery options like Amazon.

Opinion: Philadelphia soda tax does more harm than good
Philadelphia Inquirer | May 30, 2018
If you considered having a bottle of soda while grilling over the Memorial Day weekend, it’s time to take pause. In January 2017, Philadelphia became one of the first localities in the country to impose a specific tax on sweetened beverages.

Will the Soda Tax Be Jim Kenney’s Waterloo?
Philadelphia Magazine | May 26, 2018
Two years ago, when Philadelphia passed its sweetened beverage tax, it was hailed as a game-changing triumph that sent shock waves across the country and gave public-health policy geeks a sugar rush... Fast-forward two years, and … the soda tax debate is still raging, thanks to a tenacious, unrelenting challenge by the beverage industry.

Philadelphia Citizen | May 25, 2018
So last week, an exasperated Councilman Allan Domb recalled city Finance Director Rob Dubow and Treasurer Rasheia Johnson for a hearing to try and break through the fog of the city’s embarrassing accounting practices. The background: The city still can’t find $27 million of your tax dollars, and, over the course of multiple hearings, as the terse, defensive testimony of Dubow and Johnson has, shall we say, “evolved,” it now appears that five city accounts, home to some $40 billion over the years, haven’t been reconciled, in some cases since 2010.

Philadelphia Citizen | May 16, 2018
Last Wednesday, at Councilman Allan Domb’s request, City Treasurer Rasheia Johnson appeared before City Council for more questioning from him about the city’s accounting practices, or—more accurately—the lack thereof.

Philly mayor threatens council over lagging rec center rebuild
Plan Philly | May 12, 2018
In a fiery letter sent on Friday, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney told City Council that he is willing to scale back his signature rec center, playground, and library improvement effort in order to sidestep requirements for council approvals and move forward with the long-delayed Rebuild initiative without the legislative body’s sign-off.

Philadelphia Soda Tax Collections Falling Further Short In Year 2
Town Hall | May 9, 2018
In 2017, the revenue that the city of Philadelphia saw from its controversial soda tax fell far short of city leaders' expectation that it would bring in $92.4 million in its first year. So much so that the city's mayor, Jim Kenney, scaled back his ambitions for how much money the city would collect in the future to match the city's actual soda tax revenue of $78.8 million.

Search Continues For Tens Of Millions In Missing Philadelphia Taxpayer Money
CBS Philly | May 7, 2018
— The search continues for the disappearance of tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer money from City of Philadelphia accounts. Some of the money has been located, but the rest has yet to be, as $27.5 million still remains missing.

PA Chamber | May 7, 2018
Legislation that would reverse Philadelphia’s soda tax and preempt other municipalities from levying one was approved last week by the House Commerce Committee.

Bill that would abolish the soda tax advances in Pa. House
Penn Live | May 2, 2018
Legislation that aims to put a stop to municipalities imposing a tax on food and beverages and food/beverage containers as a revenue source won approval of the House Commerce Committee on Tuesday.

The soda tax is an unfair tax on the poor | Opinion
Penn Live | May 1, 2018
Philadelphia's beverage tax has hit our city's poorest communities hardest. The city's 1.5 cents per ounce tax has raised prices on thousands of beverages - from teas to sports drinks to juices, and nutritional beverages.

As health organizations back soda tax, new data shows most locals are against it
Philadelphia Business Journal | April 20, 2018
New research, backed by the American Beverage Association, shows the majority of Philadelphia residents in all but one section of the city are against the city's beverage tax.

Pennsylvania lawmaker introduces bill to invalidate Philly soda tax
Philly Mag | April 14, 2018
A Republican Pennsylvania lawmaker introduced a bill this week that would render Philadelphia's controversial soda tax invalid.

STATEMENT: Ax the Bev Tax Statement on Drexel Study
April 13, 2018
The Ax the Bev Tax coalition issued the following statement in response to a study released by Drexel University speculating the impact of the Philadelphia beverage tax on soda consumption. The claims made in the study are based on a phone survey conducted more than a year ago

Bill Introduced in State House Would Kill Philly’s Soda Tax
April 10, 2018
A state representative from suburban Pittsburgh called taxes on food and beverages “revenue grabs.”

Hold onto your sodas! When politicians are looking for money, nothing is safe
April 4, 2018
Soda will cost you more in Philadelphia, Seattle, Boulder, Colorado, and a bunch of California cities because politicians in those places voted to tax it.

The soda tax was a disaster for Philly. It will be for Harrisburg, too | Opinion
March 30, 2018
When Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney first proposed imposing a beverage tax on city families, local businesses warned it would be both economically devastating for Philadelphia's neighborhoods and a disastrous long-term funding source for ongoing programs such as expanded pre-K, community schools and the Rebuild program targeting aging city infrastructure. Unfortunately for the citizens of Philadelphia, the business community and the city as a whole, those predictions have both come true.

Before pushing tax increases, Mayor Kenney needs to cut the fat | Opinion
March 29, 2018
Mayor Kenney’s latest budget proposal proves the time-honored principle that, when confronted with a fiscal challenge, it’s easier for an elected official to propose a tax increase than to make long-lasting fiscal reforms.

March 27, 2018
A little over two years ago, Allan Domb, having made his fortune in real estate, found himself enrolled in a crash course on the difference between government and the private sector.

Philly’s Soda Tax: When Will Kenney — or Council — Fix This Hot Mess?
March 19, 2018
As much as three-quarters of the $85 million already generated by the beverage tax is just sitting in the city’s general fund.

Council members guzzle free gas in new city-owned cars
March 19, 2018
Despite looming fiscal problems and discussion of new taxes, Philadelphia City Council members have billed taxpayers $320,970 for a fleet of 13 brand-new SUVs – a perennially questioned perk some pols say they can’t live without.

March 16, 2018
Welcome to Taxadelphia, one of the nation’s highest-taxed and poorest cities, where the Mayor has once again proposed reaching into citizens’ pockets.

Time for Philly to study how and who it taxes | Editorial
March 14, 2018
Credit City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart for wanting to examine the impact of the city’s 10-year tax abatement on its finances.

Only a quarter of soda tax revenue has actually been spent: Controller
March 14, 2018
Philly controller says city is holding onto 75 percent of soda tax revenue, but mayor says that's part of the plan.

Stossel: The Philly Soda Tax Scam
March 13, 2018
Want a soda? It costs a lot more in Philadelphia, thanks to a new tax on artificially sweetened beverages. A 2-liter bottle of Coca-Cola that once cost $2 now goes for $3.

City controller: Most soda tax revenue in General Fund, not spent on pre-K, community schools, parks rehab
March 13, 2018
The vast majority of revenue raised by Philadelphia's controversial beverage tax has yet to be spent on the three public initiatives used by Mayor Jim Kenney to promote its passage, according to data presented Tuesday morning by City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart.

City Leaders Spar Over Location Of Beverage Tax Revenue
March 13, 2018
Philadelphia’s city controller is raising concerns about the location of $62.9 million in tax revenue collected from a city beverage tax.

Controller's new soda tax report 'misleading & inaccurate,' says Mayor's Office
March 13, 2018
"The data shows that the majority of revenue generated by the beverage tax is not being spent on pre-K, community schools and debt service for [Rebuild], as originally intended," the Controller's Office said.

National Press Continues to Ignore Philly Soda Tax Fallout, Other Massive Proposed Tax Hikes
March 12, 2018
In November, I noted that the national press, after extensively covering Philadelphia’s deceptively named 1.5 cents per ounce “soda tax” when it passed in mid-2016, has ignored its negative fallout, including layoffs at distributors and grocers along with a significant collections shortfall.

Guest Commentary: Why We Raise Taxes
March 12, 2018
It costs a lot of money to run a city poorly. Raising taxes to pay those high costs helps keep a city’s residents poor. It is an unfortunate downward spiral and Philadelphia is—once again—caught up in it.

15 Months In, Philly Still Plagued With Soda Tax Uncertainties
March 12, 2018
It’s been 15 months since the city of Philadelphia enacted its sweetened beverage tax, and there looks to be no end in sight to the fighting and fallout that have plagued it from the outset, thanks to lower-than-expected tax revenue as well as court battles.

City: 'Too soon' to say if soda tax shortfall will hit parks & rec makeover
March 8, 2018
There will be no Rebuild without the soda tax. That’s been the message coming from Mayor Jim Kenney over the last several months...

From the editor: Philly's rep as Tax City lives on & on
March 7, 2018
In 2018, at a time of economic expansion and opportunity, we’re talking about raising taxes again.

Trib editorial: Don't let Philly soda-tax lesson go flat
March 6, 2018
Philadelphia's controversial tax on soda and sweetened beverages is performing exactly as envisioned — at least according to its many critics. Revenues came in about $13 million short (about 13 percent) during the soda tax's first 12 months.

Philly Soda Tax Loses Fizz
March 6, 2018
In unsurprising news, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney’s budget proposal reduced the projected revenues from the city’s beverage tax by about 15 percent. For a multitude of reasons, revenues have not met expectations.

How Philadelphia's lower soda tax collections impact future bond plans
March 5, 2018
The $4.7 billion budget proposal Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney unveiled last week accounts for revised projections to the city’s new beverage tax that will likely mean less borrowing for planned infrastructure projects.

Column: Kenney in Wonderland defines failure as success
March 4, 2018
If you announced a goal and failed to achieve it, would you claim success? Yes, if you were a top executive with the City of Philadelphia, a.k.a. Wonderland, where failing to meet a goal is called success. Getting close is good enough, as if running the city were a game of horseshoes.

Philly soda tax revenue falling short, city adjusts plans for pre-K and other programs
March 1, 2018
Philadelphia’s tax on sweetened drinks has lacked the revenue fizz that officials anticipated, and the city is downsizing plans for the programs it’s intended to fund.

Philadelphia's Soda Tax Falls Flat
March 1, 2018
Mayor Jim Kenney's administration has scaled back its pre-K program goals after Philadelphia's soda tax failed to meet revenue projections.

In Kenney's third budget proposal, soda tax sees big estimate drop
March 1, 2018
Adding more preK seats and establishing additional community schools will remain on hold during fiscal year 2019.

New terms on city’s deal to buy Inquirer building for new Philly police HQ threaten to increase cost for taxpayers
February 26, 2018
Mayor Jim Kenney's deal to borrow $252.5 million to transform 400 North Broad Street into a new police headquarters could cost taxpayers more than City Council anticipated when it approved the agreement last year.

Business Leaders, City Officials Debate Ways To Reform Philadelphia’s Tax Structure
February 24, 2018
How to make Philadelphia more business-friendly: That was the topic of hearings in city council last week. There was general agreement that fewer taxes would help but no clear path to get there.

City has yet to spend $30M in soda tax revenue: Report
February 14, 2018
So far, the so-called soda tax has generated the funds to create at least 2,000 new preK seats, but the Kenney Administration's goal is to add a total of 6,500.

Philly stockpiles $30M in soda tax revenue ahead of possible shortfall
February 13, 2018
City Hall is sitting on nearly $30 million of dollars in deferred soda tax dollars – and not everyone is happy about it.

POLS ON THE STREET: Soda Tax May Drive Mayoral Race
February 1, 2018
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal on Philadelphia’s Sweetened Drinks Tax on an expedited basis. The decision they reach may shape the fate of Mayor Jim Kenney, whose brainchild it is, and with it the upcoming mayoral election.

Pa. Supreme Court to hear soda tax case
January 30, 2018
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court said Tuesday that it will consider the legality of Philadelphia’s tax on soda and other sweetened beverages, giving fresh hope to opponents of the controversial levy.

First full year of soda tax revenue puts city $13M+ short of goal
January 26, 2018
The final monthly revenue amount for the Philadelphia Beverage Tax is in, with the December revenue bringing in $6.5 million for the city's coffers, according to preliminary reports.

Alcohol sales are up in Philly. Is the soda tax driving us to drink?
January 26, 2018
Looking to see what might happen when soft drinks and other sugary beverages are taxed, British researchers found something interesting: People seem to buy less soda and more alcohol.

Letter to the Editor: The battle lines of the beverage tax
January 17, 2018
Many of Teamsters are seeing 50 percent reductions in their take-home pay, the letter writer says.

PRESS RELEASE: New Oxford Economics Study Finds Beverage Tax Cost Local Jobs and Inflicted Economic Damage
January 9, 2018
A new study released by leading economic analysis firm Oxford Economics found that Philadelphia’s beverage tax has cost local blue-collar jobs in retail, bottling and trucking and logistics and inflicted tens of millions of dollars of economic pain on local businesses.

One year later, Philly soda tax still controversial
January 1, 2018
Soda prices have gone up in Philadelphia. And so has the number of children attending pre-K. While those are among the things that have changed in the first year of Philadelphia’s tax on soda and other sweetened beverages, there has been one constant: The tax remains controversial...

Soda tax? This Philly Mummers club isn't a fan
January 1, 2018
The Philadelphia Soda Tax has some fierce opponents. Count the Golden Slipper NYB among them.

December 29, 2017
Philadelphia businesses and families have suffered through a year of Philadelphia’s beverage tax.

In November, city's beverage tax brings in lowest monthly revenue yet
December 29, 2017
For the second time since Philadelphia implemented a tax on soda and other sweetened beverages, the city's beverage tax has yielded less than $6 million in monthly revenue.

Philly's soda tax has spawned multiple studies. Here's what we've learned
December 23, 2017
Philadelphia’s tax on soda and other sweetened beverages has been in effect for nearly a year. As city officials, business owners, and beverage industry lobbyists continue to debate the controversial, 1.5 cent-per-ounce tax – and other cities watch closely – researchers have scrambled to study its impact.

How ShopRite's Jeff Brown became a progressive - and a soda tax opponent
December 18, 2017
A lot of fellow progressives in town are giving Jeff Brown the side-eye. He doesn’t actually seem to care.

Taxes and death ... of sane policy-making
December 14, 2017
Reckless tax policy enacted along party lines by pols over the objections of credentialed and independent economists as well as business owners and citizens? That's a lousy way to make decisions they will affect the lives of millions.

To solve Philadelphia hunger crisis, focus on fighting poverty
December 13, 2017
The absolute worst response to this crisis is to blame the victims. While advocates of the city’s soda tax are mostly well-intentioned, this regressive tax not only adds to the already-strapped budgets of struggling families, but it also send the implicit message that the real problem is that low-income families just don’t shop responsibly enough.

Pa. Rep Wants To Preempt Philly's Sweetened Beverage Tax
December 6, 2017
A Pennsylvania Republican state representative on Wednesday announced plans to introduce legislation that would preempt Philadelphia's sweetened beverage tax, which went into effect in January and is being challenged in the state’s courts.

Philadelphia Sugar-Sweetened Tax Sours Business Leaders
December 4, 2017
As the first anniversary of Philadelphia’s excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages draws near, business leaders are criticizing the surcharge.

PRESS RELEASE: Chicago families and local businesses say good-bye to destructive beverage tax
December 1, 2017
Chicago-area families said good-bye to their destructive beverage tax today, when a repeal of the hated levy finally went into effect.

November 29, 2017
The October tax on sugar-sweetened drinks brought in less than any other month this year.

October brings in lowest monthly soda tax revenue since January
November 27, 2017
Monthly revenue collected by the city's beverage tax in October was the lowest amount since January, bringing in $6.1 million for Philadelphia's expanded preK, ReBuild and other programs, according to preliminary figures provided by the city.

PRESS RELEASE: Philadelphia beverage tax collections slump to lowest levels since January
November 27, 2017
The Ax the Philly Bev Tax Coalition has issued the following statement after beverage tax collections in October came in nearly 20 percent short of projections, dropping more than $1 million over the course of a month...

How one city’s soda tax disastrously backfired on businesses and poor people
November 24, 2017
The notion that raising the price of sugary or fatty foods will convince people to consume less of them, and hence reduce obesity rates, has exploded in popularity in recent years.

Philly should follow Cook County's lead in repealing beverage tax
November 20, 2017
On Oct. 11, the Cook County (Ill.) Board of Commissioners voted, 15-2, to repeal the county’s unfair, excessive, and overreaching penny-per-ounce sweetened beverage tax.

Business leaders press for repeal of Philadelphia's soda tax
November 13, 2017
Critics of Philadelphia’s tax on sweetened beverages remain hopeful that state legislation might soon repeal the city’s newest revenue generator in the wake of a state Senate hearing last month.

Philadelphia's soda tax hitting shoppers' wallets, not retailers' books: Study
November 3, 2017
Two new preliminary studies on the Philadelphia Beverage Tax show consumers are bearing the brunt of the 1.5 cents per ounce tax – as nearly the entire amount is getting passed through to shoppers at the register – while some of the findings indicate the city's retail sector has not been negatively impacted by the PBT despite business owners' claims otherwise.

Philly beverage tax hurting small-business owners and working-class communities
November 1, 2017
My family has owned the Southern Inn restaurant in Southwest Philadelphia for more than 30 years. I inherited it from my mother.

Trib editorial: Philly's fizzling soda tax
October 31, 2017
A recent Harrisburg hearing on Philadelphia's “soda tax” at least was held — unlike a June attempt at Philly's City Hall that ended after 45 minutes of soda-tax supporters' noisemaking. Unsurprisingly, this hearing confirmed what is patently an ill-advised tax.

Op-ed: Kenney’s soda tax is economically destructive
October 31, 2017
Mayor Jim Kenney is living a fantasy. His administration has repeatedly made the hollow argument that his regressive beverage tax isn’t hurting Philadelphia families.

Jeffery Brown Of ShopRite: Because Of Soda Tax 4 Of Our Stores Are Unprofitable
October 24, 2017
An owner of seven grocery stores in Philadelphia says the Soda Tax is making his stores unprofitable. “Out of our seven stores, four are unprofitable right now, and I have the burden of deciding if I can keep all these stores, How long can I go and absorb that loss,” Jeffrey Brown, owner and operator of Brown Super Stores, told The Rich Zeoli Show.

Letter to the Editor: Why Pennsylvania businesses deserve a tax cut
October 24, 2017
The negative impact of Philadelphia’s soda tax has taught our state a valuable lesson: High taxes are bad for business and bad for the economy.

PRESS RELEASE: Local Business and Labor Leaders to Call on City Council to follow Chicago area’s Lead and Repeal Destructive Beverage Tax
October 19, 2017
Speaking before Philadelphia City Council’s weekly session, local business and labor leaders called on councilmembers to follow the Cook County Board of Commissioners’ lead and repeal the regressive and economically destructive beverage tax.

Survey results show many Philly businesses hard hit by soda tax
October 17, 2017
More than half of the Philadelphia businesses that responded to a survey on the effects of the city's sugar-sweetened beverage tax say they've lost revenue as a direct result of the new tax.

Pa. Senators Hear Pros, Cons Of Philadelphia Beverage Tax
October 17, 2017
Members of a Pennsylvania Senate committee held a hearing Tuesday on Philadelphia’s controversial soda tax. The hearing, which was shut down by protesters in the city in June, was held instead in the State Capitol.

Businesses losing money to soda tax, controller says
October 16, 2017
Businesses that sell sweetened beverages say that Philadelphia’s soda tax has hurt their sales substantially, according to a survey that Controller Alan Butkovitz released Monday.

Butkovitz says city's Beverage Tax causing drastic revenue declines for retailers
October 16, 2017
Supermarkets, convenience stores, restaurants and other retailers in the city are reporting a significant revenue hit in the first half of 2017 with the majority of survey respondents attributing the Philadelphia Beverage Tax as the culprit for "most or all of the decline," according to a new report from the City Controller's Office.

Soda tax hurting merchants, controller says
October 16, 2017
Many merchants in the city are showing losses as a result of the sweetened beverage tax implemented earlier this year, according to a survey that Controller Alan Butkovitz released on Monday.

Coalition calls for council to repeal city's beverage tax
October 13, 2017
A local coalition wants city council to repeal the city’s beverage tax.

The Axe the Philly Bev Tax Coalition of businesses and organizations is calling for action after the Cook County Board of Commissioners voted overwhelmingly this week to repeal a Chicago-area beverage tax that went into effect two months ago.

Officials vote to repeal Chicago's soda tax & Philadelphia reacts
October 11, 2017
After just a few months, Chicago and its surrounding county will no longer have a soda tax. The Cook County Board of Commissioners voted Wednesday to repeal the tax, confirming earlier reports that a deal had been reached to rescind it.

After Chicago repeals soda tax, Philly union urges Mayor Kenney to do the same
October 11, 2017
The repeal of a sweetened beverage tax in the Chicago area on Wednesday renewed calls for Philadelphia to end its own, more expensive tax.

PRESS RELEASE: Cook County Commissioners vote to repeal Chicago-area beverage tax
October 11, 2017
Following widespread voter and consumer outrage, the Cook County Board of Commissioners voted overwhelmingly today to repeal a Chicago-area beverage tax that went into effect just two months ago.

PRESS RELEASE: Philadelphia closes summer nearly 15 percent short in beverage collections
September 28, 2017
Even the summer barbecue season wasn’t enough to salvage Philadelphia’s failing beverage tax. The city closed the summer season with August beverage tax revenues coming in nearly 15 percent short of projections – despite repeated promises by administration officials that beverage tax collections would improve.

Philly’s Soda Tax Continues To Lag Behind Expectations
September 28, 2017
Figures from August show revenue from Philadelphia’s beverage tax continues to lag behind expectations, but the mayor says he’s satisfied with the results so far.

Impact of the Beverage Tax on Philadelphia’s Grocery Stores
September 18, 2017
As Philadelphia’s fiscal watchdog, Controller Alan L. Butkovitz has made the impact of tax policy on the economic and fiscal health of the City a hallmark of his tenure in the office.

September 14, 2017
Philadelphia’s beverage tax is costing supermarkets $300,000 a month in lost sales as consumers head to retail locations outside of the city where the tax does not apply, reports the Philly Tribune.

Report: Soda tax pinching markets
September 12, 2017
Philadelphia’s new beverage tax is costing supermarkets $300,000 a month in lost sales as shoppers head to the suburbs, a new study conducted by a Saint Joseph’s University professor shows.

PRESS RELEASE: New study finds Philly beverage tax costing supermarkets more than $300,000 a month each
September 11, 2017
Philadelphia’s new beverage tax is crushing local Philadelphia supermarkets, costing them each more than $300,000 a month in lost sales as shoppers flee to the suburbs, a new study conducted by a Saint Joseph’s University professor shows.

Beverage Sales Fell in Philadelphia After Tax Took Hold
September 1, 2017
Data compiled for The Wall Street Journal show Philadelphia’s beverage tax had a significant impact on shopping patterns after it was introduced in January.

Controller counting chickens prematurely when it comes to soda tax
August 28, 2017
City Controller Alan Butkovitz has decided to count the chickens before they are hatched. Last week, Butkovitz announced that his office was going to do an audit on the city’s expanded pre-K program, even though the expansion has hardly begun. It started seven months ago.

Philadelphia Beverage Tax starts new fiscal year short of projections
August 28, 2017
The Philadelphia Beverage Tax yielded $6.5 million in the month of July – the first month of the 2018 fiscal year for the city, according to preliminary figures.

Philly’s Sweetened Beverage Tax Still Not Meeting Projections
August 26, 2017
Revenue from Philadelphia’s sweetened beverage tax continues to lag behind expectations. But city officials still say it’s not time to revise their projections.

Soda tax ‘killing’ corner stores that rely on summer sales
August 22, 2017
If anybody could see the divisive Philadelphia soda tax from both angles, it’s Beverly Diggins. She’s the general manager of Ms. Jessie’s Stop N Shop. She also has a master’s in education and has taught at Peirce College.

Philadelphia Learns That Soda Tax May Be A Bad Long-Term School Funding Solution
August 22, 2017
Here’s the problem with “sin” taxes, like those on alcohol, tobacco, and fizzy beverages: You can use those taxes to raise money for a specific purpose, or to encourage citizens to consume less of the thing being taxed, but you can’t hope for both. That’s what Philadelphia has learned as its tax on sweetened beverages has failed to raise as much money as the city hoped.

Marketing study: Philadelphia soda tax chasing away buyers
August 22, 2017
A marketing study says Philadelphia's 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on soda and other sweetened drinks is chasing customers out of the city.

Philadelphia's soda tax isn't the windfall some had hoped for
August 22, 2017
Philadelphia's soda tax is falling flat — for the city, at least. The city started taxing sweetened drinks at 1.5 cents per ounce this year after a contentious debate.

Report: Soda tax decreased sales in Philly, boosted sales beyond border
August 21, 2017
Michael Solomon is a regular for hoagies at Bruno’s Pizza on Cheltenham Avenue. He also loves soda. But since Philadelphia’s tax on sweetened beverages went into effect, the 33-year-old West Oak Lane man has stopped buying soda with his sandwich. Instead he crosses the street and hits the Fresh Grocer, where he can get a two-liter bottle for as little as 88 cents, about a third what it costs in the city.

Soda taxes: Pitched as a solution, they only cause problems
August 16, 2017
Soda tax advocates promise healthier communities and balanced budgets. So far neither promise has materialized anywhere the tax has been imposed, but that isn't stopping more cities from using those dubious arguments to justify increasing taxes on their poorest citizens.

August 14, 2017
Philly mayor Jim Kenney’s soda tax, passed last year, has become a lightning rod for criticism locally and around the country, for the effect it has had on consumers and small business alike.

Philadelphia’s Soda Tax Bust
August 13, 2017
The best laid plans of politicians often go awry, and then there’s Philadelphia’s soda tax.

Philly moves the goalposts on soda tax
August 10, 2017
When you’re losing, it’s good advice to play another game. Or do as Philadelphia has done with its recent soda tax: Change the rules and move the goalposts. Though the soft-drink tax was pitched primarily as a boon for pre-K education and, secondarily, for its supposed health benefits, only 49 percent of the funding actually is slated for pre-K. Apparently, it’s not just “for the children.”

Disaster: Philly's Soda Tax Has Produced Miserable Results
August 10, 2017
Philadelphia’s city council had a revolutionary idea. Let’s tax the poor to increase revenue and the soda tax was born. After its implementation, you could have probably guessed the results: soda is now more expensive than beer.

Delaware County Wendy's Accidentally Charges Customers for Philly Soda Tax
August 8, 2017
Robert Marchetti assumed it was a mistake when the cashier quoted a higher price than normal for a soda he bought at a Wendy’s restaurant in Ridley Park, Delaware County Monday.

Study: Philadelphia tax makes soda more expensive than beer
August 8, 2017
Philadelphia's tax on sugary drinks has made soda more expensive than beer in the city.

Overbrook bakery closes, blames city soda tax
August 6, 2017
CC Orlando & Sons, which baked countless wedding and holy communion cakes and pastries since its founding on an Overbrook corner in 1948, closed after business Sunday.

Soda Tax Experiment Failing in Philadelphia Amid Consumer Angst and Revenue Shortfalls
August 3, 2017
The tax, which is 24 times the state excise tax rate on beer, has received mixed reviews among constituents. Some Philadelphians support the tax for the programs it funds. Meanwhile, local business owners and workers have filed lawsuits against the tax.

Six Months In, Philly Soda Tax Nets $39.3M, Just Shy of Projections
July 24, 2017
Philadelphia reached the six-month mark on its sweetened beverage tax in June, and the Philadelphia Department of Revenue has reported preliminary figures for the month, which closed out fiscal year 2017.

With June revenue in, Philadelphia's soda tax falls short of FY17 projection
July 24, 2017
Preliminary figures for fiscal year 2017 show the Philadelphia Beverage Tax came up just shy of the $39.7 million projected...

Opinion: No brotherly love in Philly’s soda tax
July 24, 2017
Hundreds of pro-tax protesters armed with earsplitting horns and loud chants created such a disturbance at a recent state Senate hearing on Philly’s soda tax that it had to be canceled. It was so loud that state Senator Scott Wagner couldn’t even announce that he was postponing the hearing. So much for a productive discussion.

Blatstein poised to cash in on Philly police HQ plan
July 14, 2017
Conversion of the Inquirer Building on North Broad Street into the Philadelphia Police Department’s new headquarters – stacking up to be the second most expensive historic-rehabilitation project of its kind in city history – comes with an extra bonus for the plan’s developer: a federal historic-renovation subsidy said to be worth $40 million.

Pro-beverage-tax forces are trying to silence critics
July 13, 2017
Recently, the newspapers have been up in arms over public policy being set without a public hearing. Those rotten Republicans deny the people a full discussion about changes in Obamacare. The Republicans say hearings took place for a year before the most recent bill was introduced in the Senate.

But, I’m not here to talk about the Republicans in Washington. I’m talking about the canceled hearing in City Hall regarding the sugary-beverage tax. I’m talking about the orchestrated obstruction of public debate involving pro-tax activists, special interest groups and some members of the mayor’s office.

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