Revenue From Philly Soda Tax Falls

The October tax on sugar-sweetened drinks brought in less than any other month this year.
November 29, 2017

PHILADELPHIA – In October, Philadelphia received the least amount of revenue from its tax on sugar-sweetened drinks since its inception in January, Politico reports. City officials revealed that October’s revenue from the 1.5 cent-per-ounce tax hit $6.1 million, a sharp decline from September’s high of $7.4 million.

The city estimated the soda tax would generate $7.7 million monthly, but actual revenue has hovered between $6.5 million and $7 million, with fluctuations month-to-month. Groups against the soda tax have trumpeted the news that November revenue is also not hitting the targeted amount.

The Ax the Philly Bev Tax Coalition says the tax is “unsustainable and bad public policy,” and that the mayor cannot “fulfill the beverage tax collections promises he made to Philadelphia families. … This tax that has never met the city’s full collection target, coming in millions of dollars short—despite attempts by the administration to move the goalposts and artificially lower the bar to try to confuse Philadelphia families.”

City officials appear unfazed by the discrepancies between its projections and actual revenue from the soda tax. “Even with the November collections, we remain only 14% short of original estimates, which economists have stated is well within the normal range for a brand new tax,” city spokesman Mike Dunn said.

For more on soda taxes and how they impact the convenience store industry, read “A Costly Pour” in the October issue of NACS Magazine.

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