Mayor Kenney: Attempts To Repeal Soda Tax May Be Met With Opposition From Families

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Lawmakers in Chicago have voted 15-2 to repeal a sweetened beverage tax after only two months in action. KYW’s Mike Dougherty spoke with Mayor Jim Kenney about the prospects of that happening in Philly.

On the surface the taxes in Philadelphia and Chicago might seem similar with both taking a per-ounce-tax on sweetened beverages. Mayor Jim Kenney says the most important difference is the fact that money here is going directly to educational programs, unlike Cook County which was using the soda tax for a general fund.

“Now we have 2,000 kids in quality Pre-K. We would have as many as 4,000 if the beverage industry would get out of the way. We have 6,000 families receiving services from community schools,” said Kenney.

He says the legal battle is restricting the city from maximizing revenue.

“We have our Parks & Recreation Center and Library rebuild plans ready to go once this lawsuit is over. They keep on dragging it out and dragging it out,” said Kenney.

So far the tax in Philadelphia has generated $59 million. Mayor Kenney says he thinks any attempt to repeal here would be met with fierce opposition from families.

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