Philadelphia’s High Tax On Soda Falls Flat On Business Owners

The controversial high tax on soda that Philadelphia enacted is seeing results, just not good ones. Local businesses aren’t happy and can point directly to the tax to explain their lost revenue

A Tale of Taxes

It wasn’t widely popular when it was enacted, but Philadelphia’s high tax on soda and other sugary beverages is even less popular now. The tax imposes an additional 1.5 cents per ounce on soft drinks and other beverages.

It may seem minor at first, but local businesses owners are feeling the effects.

survey conducted by City Controller Alan Butkovitz found nine in 10 businesses have self-reported revenue loss since the city’s sweetened beverage tax took effect earlier this year. Of those reporting revenue loss, six in 10 blame the tax for their woes.

The survey is based on results from 741 local business respondents.  Of the 650 businesses who reported a loss in revenue, more than 400 attribute the loss to the high tax on soft drinks. The majority also reported a decrease in revenue of more than 10%.

On the other hand, beverage sales in areas outside the city have seen a 30% or more increase in beverage sales as residents look elsewhere for their shopping.

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