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Nutter again pushing sugary drink tax, which might not be a tax on sugary drinks

Heard in the Hall reports that Mayor Nutter is again proposing a tax on sugary drinks in the city. He pitched the idea last year, and it failed. Now he's pushing it as a way to raise money for schools.

We don't know yet how this tax would be structured, but it's worth pointing out that the tax as proposed last year would not have really been a tax on sugary drinks, but on retailers who sell sugary drinks. From IOM a little over a year ago:

Most taxes designed to encourage healthier behavior (often called sin taxes) are levied at the point of sale, like tobacco. That shows consumers they are paying more for an unhealthy product. Nutter's soda tax wouldn't work this way

Instead, it would be directly paid by businesses selling these products.

Taxing soda directly at the point of sale would require approval from Harrisburg, which the city could have a tough time getting. So this could be a bottled water tax. And a candy tax. And a granola bar tax. Basically, not just a sugary drinks tax.

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