It was a good idea when it was proposed last year by Mayor Nutter, but rejected by Philadelphia City Council. It’s a better idea this year when Philadelphia desperately needs additional revenue for the School District which is facing sharp budget cuts because of reduced state appropriations.
For those who haven’t been paying attention, we are in the midst of a public health crisis of increasing obesity, including among children. Obesity has all kinds of adverse public health consequences, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
If all the soda tax did was deter people from consuming sugary drinks, that would be a major accomplishment. But if it also brings in needed revenue for the Philadelphia public schools, that’s a two-fer.
A two-cents per ounce tax on sugary drinks need not be a burden on anyone. Just stop drinking the stuff, and avoid the tax entirely. Substituting tap water for sugary drinks would be a big step towards better health.
Good on you, Mayor Nutter, for re-introducing the soda tax! Shame on those members of city council who put their re-election concerns above the well-being of the city, its schools, and its children.