Big soda tax coming up in Philadelphia


The movement towards taxing and regulating sugary drinks continues. Now Philadelphia could be the second city in the US to introduce a soda tax, after Berkeley. And it’s a big tax: Kenney: Soda tax would fund $400M in projects


Sugary Drinks Banned From Hospitals in New Zealand

South Africa Will Start Taxing Soda

Soda Companies Targeting Young People in Low- and Middle-Income Countries, Says Report


  1. Matt
    I think the concept of selectively taxing part of the problem is a problem in itself. Pineapple juice has 14% sugar but won't be taxed. Beverages sweetened at the customers request (presumably tea and coffee), but also home brewed iced tea without sugar but then with sugar added by the customer are all exempt. How you can tax "added sugar" and leave high natural sugar beverages plus pure sugar additives untaxed is beyond me (or is simply politics).

    To me this is like taxing cigarettes but not roll your own tobacco. You are either taxing sugar in beverages or you're not. Seems this selective practice is targeted at a sub group of companies that are seen as evil and are easy targets

    Reply: #2
  2. Pierre
    How many liters of pineapple juice people drink per year?
    Reply: #7
  3. Chris D
    More misguided sugar tax. Does Kenney care about the obesity epidemic and his constituents health? Nope! He wants to fund pre-K and close budget holes. No money at all directed to public health. What is he going to do when the soda slurps simply source soda outside of Philly to avoid the tax and his funding dries up? The point of a soda tax is to discourage consumption with the goal of eventual elimination. If actually intended for the good of public health, the soda tax will leave the school programs bleeding.
  4. robert
    Stop subsidising sugar production and everything else downstream will sort itself out automagically.

    The free-market fanboys should like this one, no?

  5. Pierre
    While in Canada

    The government should:
    - Consider a tax on sugar- and artificially-sweetened drinks;
    - Implement effective tax levers to encourage healthy lifestyles; and
    - Ban the advertising of food and beverages to children.

  6. Eric Sodicoff MD
    Full disclosure: I'm a native Philadelphian. Hopefully this time a sugar tax will survive the inevitable counter attack from the American Beverage Association. Sugary beverages are ripe for taxation just like all addictive, harmful and non-essential products such as gambling and tobacco. Should we care that sugar tax funds are used to fund other underfunded services in Philadelphia? I don't. I don't care what the Kenney's motives may really be. The schools in Philly are in terrible shape and extra cash from any source is welcome. I have an idea. Maybe the sugar tax money can be distributed as vouchers redeemable for only REAL FOOD.
    The mayor of Philly is not in the position to correct subsidized sugar production. That is a national issue best taken up by congress. Because they haven't acted, it's up to localities to step up.
  7. Apicius
    Pierre, my mother, who has type 2 diabetes, was drinking a few ounces of pineapple juice per day, on the recommendation from her doctor. She was told that pineapple juice, unlike other juices, was "special", which helped to lower blood sugar. Seriously. There is an effed up understanding out there!! People, including doctors, have been told so many crazy stories and non-cohesive rules, that they just listen to what the last standing order is from whatever authority or agency that presides over them, without questioning the lack of logic. If soda is taxed, then so should fruit juice. Period. If you squeeze cane, or sugar beets, or grapes, or oranges, or pineapples, it doesn't matter what the final ready-to-serve drink concoction is. A child can guzzle down one litre of soda or one litre of juice...because they are both sweet. Tax both soda and juice...or tax neither!
  8. Helen (Estonia)
    Sugar tax is like "new black" nowdays. Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs has included sugar tax to the "green book" as a measure to decrease an obesity and improve the health of our nation. Also "fat tax" is under consideration.

    Estonian Food Industry Association is against the sugar tax, because "basicly every food produced includes sugar". I would say consumer does not want to pay this tax for the sugar we actually do not want in our food.

    The Association also refers to EU court decision about the sugar tax in Finland (and this in this context is totally misleading) as the decision was about unfair tax on ice-cream and candy comparing to other products with similar sugar content.

    To conclude, it feels Estonia wants sugar tax to increase tax revenue (and because some EU countries already have sugar tax), not to decrease obesity. The tax should discourage industry to reduce sugar in our food not to enforce us to buy more expensive food with sugar intake.

  9. Paul
    The government knows well how to coerce people and even victimize them but not so much about right and wrong. It's a fact that government regulation and mandates on the food industry, pharmaceuticals, and medical providers have directly led to the over-medicated high-carb poison diet that most people outside LCHF think is healthy. People think it's healthy because of a massive long-term government-led disinformation campaign.

    Expose the hypocrisy before victimizing the victims again. Tell people the truth before victimizing the victims again. Stop subsidizing big sugar and big Ag and big pharma before victimizing the victims again.

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