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Pennsylvania Supreme Court upholds Philadelphia soda ban

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The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld Philadelphia’s soda tax in a ruling that rebuked the beverage industry and merchants who have rallied against these taxes across the country.

The high court ruled Philadelphia has the right to charge the 1.5-cents-per-ounce levy on sweetened beverages, according to multiple reports. 

Philadelphia is the largest city with a soda tax in the U.S., and it has inspired health advocates in other cities to introduce similar proposals. Philadelphia has raised $79 million since passing the levy in January, according to the Associated Press, but dissenters claim it has also cost more than 1,000 jobs. 


Those who support the tax say it is better for people’s health, particularly those from low-income backgrounds who often buy soda because it is affordable.  

“[The] decisive ruling offers renewed hope for tens of thousands of Philadelphia children and families who struggle for better lives in the face of rampant poverty,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement, USA Today reported.

A coalition against the beverage tax, the Ax the Philly Bev Tax Coalition, is still lobbying for a state-level bill that would ban soda taxes in Pennsylvannia, according to USA Today.

Similar beverage taxes are in place in California and Colorado cities, as well as Seattle, but Chicago recently dismissed its own due to pushback. 

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