Making a Soda Tax More Politically Palatable

Instead of the usual eat-your-vegetables pitch of public health reformers, he is offering Philadelphians something more delicious: a giant pot of money to fund popular city projects. He says his soda tax could raise more than $400 million over five years, enough to fund not just universal preschool, but also renovations of local libraries, parks and recreation centers; “community schools” that wrap up social services with education; and cash for the troubled municipal pension program. He isn’t using the word obesity, or suggesting that people should drink less soda.

.. His tax would raise the price of a 20-ounce bottle of soda by 60 cents, an increase likely to make some shoppers think twice about a purchase

.. In Philadelphia, industry officials are also making more local anti-tax arguments, saying that a tax devised to lower consumption of the taxed good will not be a stable source of revenue for an initiative, like universal prekindergarten, that requires permanent funding.