Mayor hails rejection of suit against Philadelphia soda tax

Written by The Associated Press | Dec 19, 2016 2:30 PM

Photo by AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Mayor Jim Kenney walks from a ceremony after signing into law a 1.5 cent-per-ounce tax on sugary and diet beverages at City Hall in Philadelphia, Monday, June 20, 2016. The tax will be levied on distributors and is set to take effect Jan. 1.

(Philadelphia) -- The mayor of Philadelphia is hailing a judge's dismissal of a lawsuit aimed at blocking the soda tax set to take effect the city next month.

Mayor Jim Kenney called Monday's ruling a "victory for Philadelphians who have waited far too long for investment in their education system and in their neighborhoods."

The 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax amounts to 18 cents on a 12-ounce can of soda or $1.44 on a six-pack of 16-ounce bottles.

The beverage industry argued that the tax duplicates the state sales tax already imposed on soda and unfairly taxes drinks based on their size, not price.

The plaintiffs have vowed an appeal, but Kenney urged them to "do the right thing for the children of Philadelphia, many of whom struggle in the chilling grip of pervasive poverty."

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