Frequently Asked Questions
Exactly how much will the beverage tax cost me?
A lot! A 12-pack of soda would cost you an extra $2.88. A 64 oz juice drink would cost an extra $1.28. A 10-pack of juice boxes would set you back an additional $1.69. A 16 oz cup of soda at a restaurant would cost an additional 48¢.
What beverages would be affected by this tax?
Sodas, juice drinks, teas, sports drinks and even some flavored waters – any canned, bottled or fountain beverages that are sweetened with sugar or corn syrup – would be subject to the tax.
Are any beverages exempt from the tax?
Diet and other no-calorie beverages like bottled water would be exempt along with any milk product.
Is the tax 2¢ an ounce or 3¢ an ounce?
It’s both. Canned or bottled beverages would be taxed at 2¢ per ounce. Fountain drinks sold at restaurants, food service establishments, movie theaters, etc., would be taxed at 3¢ an ounce.
What kind of impact would this tax have on beverage sales in Philadelphia?
Higher taxes will increase the prices on common grocery items like soda, juice drinks, sports drinks and teas and will drive customers away from local businesses into surrounding suburbs to do their shopping, negatively impacting grocery and convenience store owners and their employees.
Wouldn’t the drop in sales affect the projected tax revenue?
Yes, losses from higher prices combined with Philadelphians shopping outside the city limits would mean less revenue from the new tax and a dramatic decline in tax receipts for the city. The City’s revenue projections could very well be overestimated.
How would the tax revenue be distributed?
We don’t know. The bill does not specify how the tax revenue will be distributed. It could just go into the general fund to run more of the same broken programs.
Would the beverage tax impact jobs?
Yes. Adding a beverage tax on top of the other rising costs of living in Philadelphia will put at risk the thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in economic activity that the beverage industry in Philadelphia currently supports. With an unemployment rate of nearly 10 percent, we can’t afford to lose these or other good-paying jobs.
What can I do to stop the beverage tax?
Get involved! Join the coalition. Sign the petition. Send an email to the city council and the mayor. Tell your friends and family about the impact of this proposed beverage tax – and ask them to sign up, too!