By Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has signed the historic soda tax into law.
Dozens of supporters crowded into the mayor’s reception room for the event.
The mayor signed the city’s $4 billion budget, capital budget and five-year plan and finally, “Bill 160176, which is the sugar sweetened beverage tax.”
The bill will actually tax any sweetened beverage, including diet drinks, one-and-a-half cents an ounce.
The $91 million a year it’s expected to raise will be used for expanding pre-kindergarten, community schools and rebuilding city facilities.
Mayor Kenney gave all credit for the bill’s passage to advocates for those causes.
“You kept your shoulder to the wheel and your focus straight forward and you were never knocked off your pins, you were never knocked off track and because that was so consistent and so strong and so correct, even the people that we overcame could not overcome us.”
The beverage industry calls the tax regressive and unconstitutional and has hired the Kline and Specter law firm to challenge it in court.