Philadelphia Set to OK Soda Tax Despite Industry Opposition

Berkeley, California, is the only other city with such a tax.

In this 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.
In this 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 (AP) β€” 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 to a 1.5 cent-per-ounce tax on sugary and diet beverages.

Berkeley, California, is the only other city with such a tax. Other proposals have been defeated in more than 30 cities and states.

Two previous efforts to pass a soda tax in Philadelphia also failed.

But Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney sold the council on the idea with a plan to spend most of the estimated $90 million in new tax revenues next year to pay for pre-kindergarten, community schools and recreation centers.

The soda industry is expected to sue if the tax is approved.

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