Soda tax gets second life

June 10, 2011 4:20:50 PM PDT
Philadelphia school superintendent Arlene Ackerman was front and center in city hall, making her case for $100 million from the city. Philadelphia School Superintendent Arlene Ackerman, got grilled by city council as she asked for $100 million in additional funding to offset some of the $600 million in slashes she has made in the new budget plan. But at the same time, she wants to spend some $20 million on expanding her Promise Academy program while cutting more basic traditional programs.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has placed 2 options before the council to raise money: a 10% property tax increase; $0.02 per ounce soda tax. The second option is the same sugary drink tax that fell flat last year. Just like last year, the soda industry has launched another all-out public relations war against it.

The soda industry has made some hefty campaign contributions to council members running for re-election, and Philadelphia City Council is nowhere near a consensus on what -- if anything -- to do. They are running out of time.