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HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS/AP) — The Pennsylvania state Supreme Court gave the City of Philadelphia a big win on Wednesday. Pennsylvania’s highest court is upholding Philadelphia’s tax on sweetened drinks, rejecting a challenge to the soda tax by merchants and the beverage industry.

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday the 1.5-cent-per-ounce levy is aimed at distributors and dealer-level transactions and does not illegally duplicate another existing tax.

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“I am grateful to the Justices of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for their fair and careful review of this case. We maintained from the day we proposed the tax that it stood on solid legal footing, and the Justices, like two courts before them, agreed. Beyond the legal resolution, today’s decisive ruling offers renewed hope for tens of thousands of Philadelphia children and families who struggle for better lives in the face of rampant poverty,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement.

The beverage tax raised nearly $79 million in 2017, over its first 12 months in place.

If fully passed on to consumers, the soda tax represents an increase of $1.44 on a six-pack of 16-ounce bottles.

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Shanin Specter, a lawyer for the consumers and groups that challenged the tax, said they were disappointed with the decision.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)