Promising a one-two punch to obesity while filling the pockets of cash-strapped government programs, Philadelphia is on the verge of becoming only the second city in the nation to institute a tax on soda. Last week, the City Council announced a majority of its members had reached an agreement on a 1.5-cents-per-ounce tax on sugar-added and artificially sweetened beverages. The measure is expected to receive final approval at the council’s meeting this Thursday.
The revenue from the tax—approximately $91 million during the next year—will fund pre-K expansion, community schools and reinvestments in parks and recreation centers, in addition to padding the city’s general fund.
Berkeley, CA was the first US city to institute a tax on soda in 2014. Similar measures previously failed in Philadelphia and many other cities around the country.
Philadelphia’s tax will apply to all sugary drinks including regular soda, sports drinks, teas and other beverages with added sugars. But, unlike Berkeley’s law, Philadelphia’s also includes artificially sweetened beverages like diet soda.