Philly councilman questions if third penny of soda tax is really worth it

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Philadelphia’s proposed tax on sugary drinks is 3 cents per ounce, but the final penny isn’t expected to bring in much revenue, the city’s financial officer said.

Finance Director Rob Dubow explained the tax has a complicated and weighted formula that anticipates reaping millions from each of the 3 cents.

“The first is about 56, the second is an additional 30, the third is an additional 7 — all those combined produce the revenue for the programs that we need to implement,” Dubow said.

Councilman Alan Domb brought up the issue during a Council budget hearing, saying the third cent per ounce might not be worth the effort to impose and collect it.

“So I would say that going to 3 cents probably doesn’t produce that much,” Domb said.

The tax will be one of the key issues of the budget debate, since it’s proposed to raise funds to pay for everything from citywide pre-K to recreation center and library repairs.

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