- The American Beverage Association went to court this week to ask a judge in Pennsylvania to block a new soda tax in Philadelphia.
- The ABA wants the city tax, scheduled to begin in January, voided on the grounds that the state already places a sales tax on sodas. Opponents also argue the latest tax would be paid by distributors.
- Buoyed by earlier success, the city is not backing down. The mayor says the city has authority to levy the 1.5% tax.
The industry knew this show-down was coming, since similar legislation in New York and San Francisco ended up in the courts.
The soda and sugary drink industry stands to see a huge drop in sales if jurisdictions are allowed to levy taxes. According to a study in the American Journal of Public Health, soda and sugary beverage consumption dropped 21% in low-income neighborhoods in Berkeley, CA after a tax went into effect. And in Mexico, a tax on sugary drinks and junk food reduced purchases by about 5%.