Philadelphia on Thursday became the first major city in the United States to enact a soda tax, with City Council approving a 1.5-cents-per-ounce levy on sugary and artificially sweetened beverages.
The tax has generated much discussion and debate here in Philadelphia, and its passing brought a flurry of attention from national media outlets. Here's a round-up of coverage – much of it focusing on Philadelphia's status as the first big city to pass such a levy – of the soda tax from outsiders' perspectives:
Philly's soda tax may be turning point [Politico]
"Philadelphia on Thursday became the first large American city to impose a sin tax on soft drinks in what could be a tipping point in the long-running war between health advocates and the soda industry."
Soda tax passes in Philadelphia. Advocates ask: Who's next? [New York Times]
"Forty times, city or state governments had proposed taxes on sugary soft drinks, failing each time. Then, in 2014, liberal Berkeley, Calif., passed such a tax, but most people saw it as an aberration. Several measures, including one in New York, never won much support. But on Thursday, a measure to tax sweetened drinks passed in Philadelphia, one of the country's largest cities — and also one of its poorest. Indeed, raising revenue was the winning argument in Philadelphia."
There's now a soda tax in Philadelphia, but not because sugar is bad for you [New Yorker]
"Four years ago, a city-council member in Richmond, California, got his colleagues to put a measure on the local ballot asking voters to impose an extra tax on sugary drinks like soda. The council member, Jeff Ritterman, had special insight into how sugar was ruining his neighbors' health. Before becoming a politician, he'd spent nearly thirty years as the chief of cardiology at Kaiser Permanente's campus in Richmond, a bleak industrial town north of Berkeley, where the biggest employer is a Chevron refinery and many residents are poor. As in other communities with similar demographics, half of Richmond's children were overweight or obese. It was clear to Ritterman that this had a lot to do with their sugar consumption. Taxing soda, one of the biggest sources of sugar in children's diets, seemed like a sensible response."
Philadelphia City Council approves sweetened beverage tax [Wall Street Journal]
"The Philadelphia City Council approved a special tax of 1.5 cents per ounce on sweetened beverages Thursday, the first large U.S. city to pass such a measure."
Philadelphia passes soda tax after mayor rewrites playbook [Reuters]
"Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney scored a victory that had eluded more than 40 U.S. public officials who took on the powerful U.S. soda industry when the city council voted on Thursday to slap a tax on sweetened drinks."
Philadelphia Council passes sweet drinks tax [NBC News]
"The Philadelphia City Council approved a tax on sweet drinks Thursday, becoming the first major city in the country to pass such a levy and overcoming a multi-million dollar campaign by the beverage industry to oppose it."
Philadelphia approves tax on soda, sugary drinks [Voice of America]
"If you visit Philadelphia and want to quench your thirst with a Coke, get ready to pay more."
Philadelphia introduces tax on sweet carbonated drinks [Financial Times of London]
"Philadelphia has just taken some of the fizz out of Big Soda, becoming the first large city in the US to introduce a tax on sweet carbonated drinks following two previous failed attempts. The move is a blow to arch rivals Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, and adds to increasing pressure across the globe by governments using taxation in an attempt to limit sugar consumption, amid record levels of obesity and worrying rates of diabetes."
Philadelphia passes a soda tax [CNN Money]
"In a final vote of 13-4, the Philadelphia City Council on Thursday passed a 1.5-cents-per-ounce tax on sugar-added and artificially sweetened soft drinks. That would add 18 cents to the cost of a can of soda, $1.08 for a six-pack or $1.02 for a two-liter bottle."
Philadelphia becomes first major city to pass soda tax [USA TODAY]
"Philadelphia on Thursday became the first major U.S. city to approve a tax on soft drinks. By a vote of 13-4, the Philadelphia City Council approved a 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax that will affect sodas and other sugary drinks, including teas, sports drinks and energy drinks."
Philadelphia to bring in 'soda tax' to fight obesity [BBC News]
"Philadelphia has introduced a levy on carbonated sugary drinks, despite a multimillion-dollar campaign by the beverage industry to block it. It will become the first major US city to implement a so-called "soda tax", which supporters say will improve the health of 1.5 million residents."
A sad day for sweets: Soda tax hits Philly while M&Ms leave McDonald's [Washington Times]
"It's a one-two punch that may loosen your sweet tooth. While the company that makes M&Ms announced Thursday that it may stop licensing the colorful chocolate candies for use in ice-cream treats at McDonald's, the city of Philadelphia enacted a sin tax on soda."
Philadelphia hits soft-drink industry with historic tax [Bloomberg]
"The City of Brotherly Love is straining its relationship with Big Soda."