Philadelphia set to OK soda tax despite industry opposition


PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia is set to become the first major American city with a soda tax despite a multimillion-dollar campaign by the beverage industry to block it.

The City Council is expected to give final approval Thursday to a 1.5 cent-per-ounce tax on sugary and diet beverages.

Berkeley, California, is the only other city with such a tax. Other proposals have been defeated in more than 30 cities and states.

Two previous efforts to pass a soda tax in Philadelphia also failed.

But Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney sold the council on the idea with a plan to spend most of the estimated $90 million in new tax revenues next year to pay for pre-kindergarten, community schools and recreation centers.

The soda industry is expected to sue if the tax is approved.