The Latest: No vote on Philadelphia soda tax

PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) With about a month left before a new city budget must be in place, the status of mayor Kenney's controversial sugary beverage tax remains, shall we say, fluid.

Activists on both sides of the issue flooded City Council chambers Wednesday, based on media reports that a key committee vote was on the agenda.

It was not.

The 3-cents per ounce levy on regular soda, many fruit juices and some sports drinks appears short of the 9 votes needed for council approval.

In council Wednesday, city finance director Rob Dubow acknowledged that 2.5 cents per ounce would raise the nearly $90 million needed to fund pre-kindergarten programs, community schools and parks and rec centers.
Even that lower rate faces opposition.

But a council source tells Fox 29's Bruce Gordon that city lawmakers very much want to fund the Kenney initiatives.

So expect some kind of beverage-related tax to come out of council. And expect the beverage industry- led by the teamsters- to fight it in court.

"We're not opposed to the efforts of the mayor, says Daniel Grace of Teamsters Local 830.  "Our issue is that the tax is on one industry and one industry alone."

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