Philadelphia to tax sugary drinks

Philadelphia, Penn. (NBC News) — Philadelphia has become the first major U.S. city to impose an extra tax on sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages.

The sugary drink tax will charge one and a half cents per ounce of regular and diet sodas, iced tea, lemonade, energy drinks and any other juice drinks with added sugar.

The money will go in part toward education programs for young children.

Some experts say the tax would offer an added benefit for public health by discouraging people from consuming added sugar.

“Soda is pure junk,” argues Michael Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. “It contributes to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, tooth decay.”

In anticipation of the vote the American Beverage Association released a statement calling the Philadelphia tax “discriminatory” and one that “will hurt the incomes of working people and harm local businesses.”

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