Philadelphia to Implement Soda Tax?

For those who have heard of “Nanny Bloomberg’s” potential soda tax, he’s not the only man in office attempting to draw in funds from soda consumption. Philadelphia mayor, Michael Nutter, joins NYC’s headmaster on the list of men attempting to charge extra for soda. But unlike Bloomberg, Nutter has yet to give up on implementing a soda tax in Philly.

First introducing the bill in 2010, it was quickly shot down by fellow councilmen and women. Not to be discouraged, Nutter brought up the bill once more in 2011. Although it too was eventually voted down, citizens united to protest the potential bill, even going so far as to organize an “anti soda tax parade” later that year. Now another year later, citizens of Philadelphia are worrying Nutter will once again resurrect the tax.

The kicker, though, is Nutter has remained silent about the bill. In a recent speech he promised no “new” taxes, leading many reporters and civilians alike to take that as foreshadowing for the soda tax.

What it Calls For

If voted into effect (hey, third time’s a charm, right?) the Philadelphia soda tax would cost sugary beverage drinkers an added two cents per every ounce of soda. If a 20-ouncer cost $1.20 today, after the bill gets voted in, that number would be upped to $1.60 each. While this may not sounds like a catastrophic increase, it is estimated to bring in $60 million in a single year – a hefty check that would go right into Philly’s school systems.

In its initial introduction, the tax was suggested to help offset the city’s budget cuts, which have already been extreme. The tax would avoid putting the city into a deficit, while still allowing plenty of funds for the growing public school system, council members said. Although the logic behind it is sound, it has yet to ease the minds of Philadelphia’s soda drinking population.

The Future

Are citizens jumping the gun, assuming a third introduction? Or is Nutter planning on implementing the soda tax to help bring in citywide funds? The mayor’s term is set to last another four years, allowing more than enough opportunities to put the slated soda tax into effect. Only the mayor himself can prove whether or not this stat will hold true.

For more information on soda laws, or for a healthy beverage alternative, head to


Photo courtesy of DonkeyHotey.