Here's what you need to know.
What is it?
Last year, Mayor Kenny passed the Philadelphia Beverage Tax that went into effect on January 1, 2017. The Philadelphia Beverage Tax, also deemed the Soda Tax by the local media, is a $0.015 tax per ounce on sugary beverages. What’s a sugary beverage? Well, it actually entails more than just soda.
Sugary beverages include any non-alcoholic beverage, syrup, or other concentrate used to prepare a beverage that includes any form of caloric sugar-based sweetener, including, but not limited to:
- High fructose corn syrup
- Artificial sugar substitutes, including Stevia, aspartame, sucralose, neotame, acesulfame potassium (Ace-K), saccharin, and advantame
Excluded beverages include baby formula, products that contain more than 50 percent milk, fresh fruit, and/or vegetables.
What products are taxed?
Updated: Taxed items include, but are not limited to:
- Blue Sky Sodas
- Grab and go drinks including Honest Tea, Highball Energy Drinks, Guayaki Yerba Mate, etc.
- Non dairy milks with added sweetener
To determine if a product is affected by the Soda Tax, look for a yellow box beneath the price on the shelf tag. If "Soda Tax" is printed within the box, the price will be added to your purchase at the register.
Who pays the tax?
The distributor is responsible for paying the tax. However, our prices have increased on certain items due to the price increases from our distributors.
Where does the tax go?
The tax money is to go to community schools, rec centers, libraries, parks and pre-k schooling. This tax policy is popular among European countries, but Philadelphia was the second American city to pass this law after Berkley, California. San Francisco, Oakland, and Boulder have since followed suit. Read more about it here.