business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal reports on how Philadelphia lawmakers are "weighing a tax that could raise the price of a can of Coke or Pepsi by more than half and sharply curb consumption of sugary drinks ... Philadelphia’s proposed levy of 3 cents an ounce is three times higher than in Berkeley, Calif., the first U.S. city to pass such a measure. Philadelphia’s city council plans to vote in June on the tax, which would cover regular soda and other sugar-added beverages including sports and energy drinks and ice tea."

The story notes that the city's political leaders want to use the tax money "to pay for prekindergarten and other popular services."

The tax is opposed by both corporate and labor interests, including the American Beverage Association, which has spent $3 million for advertising that criticizes the bill, as well as "local retailers, restaurants and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters," which oppose the tax, "warning grocery bills would soar, jeopardizing thousands of jobs and hitting the poor the hardest."

It was just last week that San Francisco passed a bill requiring soft drink companies to put health warnings on their ads.
KC's View:
I'm not sure that it follows that creating this tax with necessarily curb the consumption of sugary drinks. And the logic of putting the tax money toward specific services escapes me ... since if the tax is successful and people stop buying the stuff that's taxed, the funding for pre-K education would then dry up. Which means that you didn't really value it very much to begin with.