Both sides rally before possible soda tax vote

- People are rallying against Philadelphia’s proposed soda tax on the day city council could vote on it.

SKYFOX was over the scene at City Hall, late Wednesday morning.

FOX 29 News was also there Tuesday night, as dozens of people filled City Hall to push for the tax.

The group Philadelphians for a Fair Future hosted the rally to support Mayor Jim Kenney's three-cents per-ounce tax on sugary drinks. It would be imposed on distributors, so a six-pack of 12-ounce sodas could go up $2.16 if all of the new tax were passed on to the consumer.

Supporters say it's the best way to pay for expanded pre-K, and raise money for parks and rec centers.

Opponents of the tax claim it would hurt small business by causing them to pass increased costs onto consumers.

Also, critics have said the tax would hit the poor the hardest, but the first-term mayor contends the poor would be among its main beneficiaries.

Some council members have spoken out against the tax, but Councilwoman Cindy Bass said she thinks the measure has the votes to pass.

Also, some observers say council may consider passing the levy at a lower rate.

The measure needs nine of the 17 council members to approve it.

Council is set to meet at 10am and 2pm, and more rallies are scheduled.

The soft-drink industry opposes the tax. It fought the proposal with millions of dollars in advertising, and is expected to sue if it passes.

If passed, Philadelphia would become the first major U.S. city to adopt a tax on sugary drinks. A soda tax failed in Philadelphia twice in the past decade. New York and San Francisco have also been unsuccessful. Berkeley, California, was the first U.S. city to approve such a tax.

DEVELOPING NEWS: Stay with FOX 29 News and Fox29.com for updates as we get more information.

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