Philadelphia becomes first major US city to tax sugary drinks & sodas

FILE - In this Wednesday, June 8, 2016 file photo, opponents of a proposed sugary drink tax demonstrate outside City Hall in Philadelphia. Philadelphia is set to become the first major American city with a soda tax despite a multimillion-dollar campaign by the beverage industry to block it. The City Council is expected to give final approval Thursday, June 16, 2016, to a 1.5 cent-per-ounce tax on sugary and diet beverages. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
FILE - In this Wednesday, June 8, 2016 file photo, opponents of a proposed sugary drink tax demonstrate outside City Hall in Philadelphia. Philadelphia is set to become the first major American city with a soda tax despite a multimillion-dollar campaign by the beverage industry to block it. The City Council is expected to give final approval Thursday, June 16, 2016, to a 1.5 cent-per-ounce tax on sugary and diet beverages. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

PHILADELPHIA, PA (NBC News) — Philadelphia has become the first major U.S. city to impose an extra tax on sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages.

The sugary drink tax will charge one and a half cents per ounce of regular and diet sodas, iced tea, lemonade, energy drinks and any other juice drinks with added sugar.

The money will go in part toward education programs for young children.

Soda Tax Breakdown:

·       12 oz can of Soda = 18 cent tax

·       16 oz bottle of Soda = 24 cent tax

·       20 oz bottle of Soda = 30 cent tax

·       24 oz “Large” Soda = 36 cent tax

·       32 oz “X-Large” Soda = 48 cent tax

Some experts say the tax would offer an added benefit for public health by discouraging people from consuming added sugar.

“Soda is pure junk,” argues Michael Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. “It contributes to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, tooth decay.”

In anticipation of the vote the American Beverage Association released a statement calling the Philadelphia tax “discriminatory” and one that “will hurt the incomes of working people and harm local businesses.”

The soda industry is expected to sue in response to the new tax.

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