Sugary Sticker Shock: Philadelphians React to New Beverage Tax
On New Years Day, Philadelphians woke up to an additional tax to be levied on many of their grocery orders.
In June, Mayor Jim Kenney (D) signed a bill approving a 1.5-cents-per-ounce tax on sugary beverages that took effect January 1.
While the number may seem benign, one receipt from a Facebook user showed the sticker shock many are seeing on their first trips to the store this new year.
For a $6 case of Propel 'fitness water', that 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax came out to a 50 percent hike on one shopper's bill at a Northeast Philadelphia grocer on Sunday.
Last year, Kenney touted the tax as a financial boon for the city; estimating $91 million per year would be collected to help fund city-wide preschool and other educational programs.
The soda tax "will improve the education, health and prosperity of children and families all across our city for years to come," he said.
Even before the tax took effect, Philadelphia business owners voiced their opposition to the law:
"I'm so happy Michael Bloomberg isn't running for president [or] everybody would be paying a soda tax," said Frank Olivieri, owner of the famous Pat's King of Steaks, "It’s a sleazy way for city government to acquire more money because they can’t get enough."
For now, some Philly residents say they will just cross into Delaware County or other suburbs to purchase their drinks tax-free.