By Pat Loeb

by Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia has begun collecting payments for the controversial sweetened beverage tax, but officials say they won’t know until next month how much money the tax generated in its first month.

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The finance director projects the tax will bring in $2.3 million this month, $5.4 million next month, and then settle into what city officials projected for typical monthly revenue of $7.7 million.

A city spokesman says the slow start is due to lagging compliance, though retailer Jeff Brown told WPHT’s Dom Giordano that sales have dropped by as much as 50 percent, about twice what the city expected.

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City officials are skeptical, adding consumption taxes typically fluctuate.

For example, the liquor-by-the-drink tax brings in more around the holidays; the amusement tax, when pro sports teams make the playoffs.

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Obviously, that’s been lagging for some time.