Philadelphia's tax on soda upheld by state Supreme Court

Criminal Law News

Pennsylvania's highest court is upholding Philadelphia's tax on soda and other sweetened drinks, rejecting a challenge by merchants and the beverage industry.

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday the 1.5-cent-per-ounce levy is aimed at distributors and dealer-level transactions and does not illegally duplicate another existing tax.

Both dissenting justices say the tax does duplicate taxes already in place on retail sales of soda in the city.

The beverage tax raised nearly $79 million in 2017, over its first 12 months in place. If fully passed on to consumers, the soda tax represents an increase of $1.44 on a six-pack of 16-ounce bottles.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, a Democrat, hailed the ruling.

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