September Was Good Month For Philadelphia’s Soda Tax

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia collected $7.4 million from the sweetened beverage tax in September, an improvement over previous months.

The figure is much closer to the city’s projections for what the tax should bring in. Deputy Revenue Commissioner Marisa Waxman says the city is pleased distributors are complying but can’t say if the higher receipts are part of a trend.

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“This is a new tax with a lot of seasonality and patterns that we’re still learning, so we’ve never had collections in October before,” she said. “There were some circumstances that contributed to this that we think might not repeat. There are other things in there that could repeat. We’ll just have to continue to monitor how this comes in month to month.”

The city has collected $60 million since the 1-and-a-half cent-an-ounce tax went into effect January first. It’s intended for expanded pre-K, community schools and city facilities renovations, but those programs are on hold, awaiting the outcome of a soda industry suit challenging the tax.

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