Philly Soda Tax Upheld by Court

In a 4-2 decision, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the validity of the Philadelphia soda tax, rejecting a major challenge brought by the beverage and food merchant industries. Philadelphia passed the new tax back in 2016 assessing distributors and dealers 1.5 cents per ounce on sugary beverages. The city cleverly drafted the tax to apply…

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Man Bites Dog as California Bans Soda Taxes

Yes, it is true – not the man bites dog part, but the rest is anyway!) California Governor Jerry Brown last week very quickly signed into law a bill that prohibits local communities in the Golden State from enacting any taxes on groceries – including nonalcoholic beverages – at least until 2031. The first soda…

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State Preemptions

As more municipalities get involved in mandating what have historically fallen within the purview of the state or federal government, the notion of passing state preemptions becomes more important. On the matter of salary history bans, the state of Michigan recently took precisely that action, sending Senate bill 353 to Governor Rick Snyder for his…

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Soda Tax Stories

The soda tax, one of the more recent schemes to extract money from the public is headed for two court appearances, one in California and the other in Pennsylvania, while the Philadelphia tax generated over $13 million less than projected for the year. At the end of the calendar year, the city of Philadelphia actually…

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Seattle Joins Soda Tax Brigade

From the Pacific Northwest, effective January 1, 2018, Seattle becomes the latest city to impose a new tax on so-called sugary drinks as the city will begin charging a new 1.75 cents per ounce tax on the distribution of sodas and other sweetened beverages. Technically, the tax will be imposed on beverage distributors, but they…

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Philadelphia Soda Tax Repeal

It may be a bit premature, but we were pleased to read that a state representative in Pennsylvania has drafted legislation repealing the Philadelphia soda tax. Coming in the wake of the successful repeal of the Cook Country Sugary Drink tax in Illinois, state representative Mark Mustio is hoping to pre-empt other local communities from…

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It Failed There, Maybe We should Try It!

Hard to fathom how elected officials can see an idea fail in one community only to think the failure was so good that they should give it a try in their own community, but that appears to be what happens more than not. The City of Philadelphia adopted a 1.5 cent per ounce tax on…

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Soda Tax Updates

We’ll start with the disappointing revenue numbers in Philadelphia generated by the City’s new soda tax for the month of August. The tax, which was projected to generate enough money to fund pre-K educational programs, community schools as well as rebuilding a number of the public facilities in the city missed its target again as…

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Seattle Mayor Resigns, Millionaire Tax Challenged

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, who dropped his campaign for reelection back in May, resigned this week as Mayor in the face of the fifth person (this one his younger cousin) coming forward to accuse him of child sexual abuse. Murray officially vacated the office effective at 5PM on Wednesday and City Council President Bruce Harrell…

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Soda Tax Limbo

Speaking of being in limbo, retailers in Cook County, Illinois are between the proverbial rock and the hard place as relates the county imposed tax on sugary drinks. As we advised last week, the FDA has said that collecting the tax and then giving it back as a refund violates the federal food stamp program…

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