Philadelphia’s new mayor wants to do something few American cities have done: pass a tax on soda and other sugary drinks.
So far, Berkeley, Calif., has been the only U.S. city to approve such a tax. That measure was aimed at reducing soda consumption (and the negative health effects that go along with drinking too much of it).
But in Philly, the tax isn’t being promoted as a scheme to bring down the city’s high rates of obesity or diabetes. Mayor Jim Kenney says he wants to use the revenue for projects that benefit residents in a city with a 26 percent poverty rate, the highest of America’s largest cities. He argues soda companies make big money and often market their products to low-income people.
“What we’re looking to do is to take some of that profit, to put it back into the neighborhoods that have been their biggest customers, to improve the lives and opportunities for the people who live there,” he said at a rally promoting the tax last month.
For more information, see NPR.