Philly mayor: $5.7M beverage tax haul doubles projections

Written by The Associated Press | Feb 23, 2017 10:48 AM

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) -- Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney says the city's sweetened-beverage tax raised $5.7 million in January, more than double what city officials had projected.

Kenney's announcement Thursday comes a day after some supermarkets and beverage distributors said they're gearing up for layoffs after seeing beverage sales fall by 30 percent to 50 percent.

Kenney's announcement says the city projected the tax, which took effect last month, would generate about $2.3 million in January.

The city has projected the tax will raise about $91 million this year and that its revenue collections would pick up steam as the year progressed.

City officials expect soda sales to rebound once customers get used to the higher prices, and they say talk of layoffs is fearmongering meant to keep other cities from imposing a similar tax.

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