PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The final total for the first year of Philadelphia’s beverage tax is in, and it’s about 15 percent below projections.
The tax brought in $6.5 million in December, bringing the first year receipts to $78.8 million. It was clear several months ago the tax was not going to reach the projected $91 million the city had budgeted, but officials say they were waiting to see a full year’s revenue before making any changes.
Now that those figures are in, city spokesman Mike Dunn says they will revise projections, though he couldn’t say by how much or what impact it will have.
Dunn says, despite the shortfall, the tax has had its benefits.
“$78.8 million has brought 2700 children free, quality pre-K. It has also brought 11 community schools which support 6,000 students. Seventy-one percent of those students are below the poverty level. Those are things that would not have happened had we not had this beverage tax,” said Dunn.
Dunn says the programs have been hampered by the beverage industry suit against the tax. The beverage industry says the receipts show the tax is not a stable, reliable way to fund programs.