Beverage Tax in Philadelphia


A lot of things have changed in Philadelphia especially in business. Businesses no longer make the profit margins they used to make some times back. One business that has been affected in Philadelphia is Klein’s Supermarket. This is a family owned grocery located near the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The business owners say that they no longer sell the sweet fizzy drinks as they used to in the past. They attribute this to the soda tax that was implemented in the state at the beginning of this year. The implementation of this tax law has affected beverages in the city reducing consumption by 60 percent. This is according to Steve Klein who is the co-owner of the supermarket. This tax law targets sugar products and products that use artificial sweeteners. However, the law caps the taxation as 1.5 cents per every ounce. The owners of the supermarket say that people would prefer leaving the drink at the register rather than paying for the overpriced commodity. However, this is what retailers and shoppers from Cook Country have been experiencing long before the tax plan was implemented in Philadelphia. According to the city officials, revenues have gone down, but they report that they have been able to collect the $40 million that they had earlier targeted. This collected revenue is being used in the expansion and construction of a kindergarten in the city that will be used to cater for over 2000 children.

Initially, the Philadelphia officials wanted to collect $46.2 million meaning that they just fell off the target by 15 percent. As for Cook County, they have learnt from Philadelphia, and they have an estimate of $42.2 million in the next four months. At the end of the year, they have an estimate of close to $200 million. Due to these taxes, Pepsi and Coca Cola have reported that they have laid off close to 200 people in the city of Philadelphia alone this year. On their part, retailers from Cook County say that they are feeling the pain that Philadelphia retailers have been experiencing all year. However, according to the mayor of Philadelphia Jim Kenney, he feels that the retailers are exaggerating the situation and it’s not as bad as it looks. The mayor also revealed that they are working on a five-year plan that will see the city raise $405 through the beverage tax. The mayor’s office says that they are happy with the way things have turned out.