A soda tax, no matter how strange it may sound, has now officially been passed by the city of Philadelphia.
This is the 1st large city in the US to enact this type of tax. The government claims that the reason for this is that 68% of all adults there suffer from obesity. Until now, this kind of measure was applied only in Berkeley, whose population is several times less than that of Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia City Council has passed a 1.5 cents-per-ounce tax on all sweet and diet beverages. The typical soda can is exactly 12 fl ounces. With the new tax, the price of a can of that size will jump by 18 cents.
Soda drink production currently comprises one of the biggest industries in the world. The tax passed in Philadelphia is a severe blow to it. The industry is expected to invest all of its efforts into trying to stop its implementation. The American Beverage Association has already filed a court case against the tax, which comes into force January 1 next year. The plan is for the revenue from it to be used to improve education and city landscaping.
Authorities say that the tax wasn't created with the aim of penalizing manufacturers but to encourage consumers to give up or at least limit unhealthy eating.
As mentioned, obese adults make up 68% of the population in Philadelphia. In children, the percentage is 41, which is beyond any normal limit. Similar campaigns trying to raise taxes have been carried out in 30 major US cities so far.