The Philadelphia Beverage Tax

Philadelphia has shown us just how much damage a beverage tax can do — hard-working families and businesses are paying the price.

In January 2017, elected officials in Philadelphia implemented a 1.5 cent per ounce tax on hundreds of beverages against the wishes of the citizens. Some saw it as the “biggest test case” of beverage taxes. The test isn’t working out so well for Philadelphians.

study from Oxford Economics underscores the devastating economic consequences of this tax. This policy, passed by the mayor and city council has caused an employment decline of nearly 1,200 workers and $54 million less in labor income.

People are traveling outside Philadelphia to avoid the beverage tax and taking their grocery dollars with them. Beverage sales at Philadelphia supermarkets fell 24 percent and increased 14 percent outside city limits. Declining sales of non-beverage items also signal that consumers are shifting entire grocery buying trips outside the city to avoid the tax.

Recent polls show more than 60 percent of Philadelphians oppose this tax. Enough is enough: It’s time for city officials to overturn this tax for the good of working families and businesses.

“The magnitude of this tax is historic and Philadelphian consumers can’t afford it.”

– David McCorkle, CEO of the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association

Philadephia NEWS
Oct 28, 2019

Effects of Sweetened Beverage Taxes in Philadelphia and Oakland

Consumption did not decline significantly overall in Philadelphia or Oakland, Read More

Apr 29, 2019

A timeline of Philadelphia’s soda tax

In 2016 Philadelphia became the first big U.S. city to pass a tax on soda. As Read More

Apr 18, 2019

Acme provided evidence of soda tax damaging sales — even while the city denied it

In the ever-fizzy soda war, the Big Boy has suited up and trotted onto the Read More

Apr 11, 2019

Soda taxes aren’t just annoying, they don’t curb obesity

Following the repeal of Cook County’s soda tax in 2017 — the deep and Read More

Jun 29, 2019

Are Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Taxes Regressive?

Key Findings: Taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages are proposed with the promise Read More

Mar 28, 2019

City of Philadelphia Voter Survey

A recent poll among likely Democratic primary voters in Philadelphia voters Read More

Jan 15, 2019

“State of the Mountain State,” West Virginians Oppose Soda Tax Expansion

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT Amanda Kieffer, Communications Associate at The Read More

Oct 12, 2018

Philadelphia’s Tax on Sweetened Beverages Raises Prices of Taxed Products and Affects Product Availability

Tax Fully Passed on to Consumers; Stores Carry Fewer Taxed and More Untaxed Read More