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Soda tax lives, but at a lower rate

Heard in City Hall hears from sources close to budget talks that the Nutter administration is peddling a more modest version of its proposed tax on sugary drinks to City Council.

Instead of the two-cents-per-ounce tax originally proposed (24 cents per 12-oz can of Coke), the Nutter administration is now suggesting a half-cent-per-ounce tax instead (just 6 cents per can). Instead of the $77 million a year a larger tax would have generated, a half-cent-per-ounce tax would raise about $19 million.

Less clear is whether a tax that small would have the same anti-obesity effects Mayor Nutter has trumpeted as one of the key benefits of a tax on sugar sweetened beverages.

In any event, it seems the smaller tax is getting a better reception in Council than the 2-cent-per-ounce plan, but it is still too soon to say if it will be included in the city's budget this year.

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