PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–New figures released by the city this morning show the Philadelphia beverage tax brought in nearly $6 million in its first month.
That’s more than twice what the city projected but less than what it needs to collect each month to fund Mayor Jim Kenney’s ambitious anti-poverty program.
The city moved up the release date of the tax collection figures amidst swirling reports that soda sales had dropped so precipitously, receipts were likely to be off by as much as 90 percent.
In fact, Kenney says he’s pleased to see higher compliance among distributors than the city expected at first.
“They’re complying with the law. And the world didn’t come to an end. Amazing.”
Kenney has been irritated by retailers’ and distributors’ complaints that the tax might force them to cut hours or lay off workers– calling it the fear mongering that accompanies any new tax.
“The world was coming to an end with the cigarette tax, the world was coming to an end with the (liquor by the) drink tax, and it never came to an end. What’s coming to an end is hopefully poverty and a lack of education among our kids.”
Eventually the city needs to collect $7.5 million a month from the tax to pay for universal pre-K, community schools and a facilities rebuild.