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7 Jul 2016


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Philadelphia Imposes Soda Tax

The Philadelphia city council on 16 June 2016 overwhelmingly (13-4) passed an ordnance to impose a sugary sweetened drinks tax.  The ordnance was signed by the Mayor on 20 June 2016.

The tax would impose a 1 ˝ cents per ounce cost.

This will impact Dealers (Retailers) and Distributors.  Hence, it will impact any person engaged in the business of selling sugar-sweetened beverage for retail sale within the City, including but not limited to restaurants; retail stores; street vendors; owners and operators of vending machines; and distributors who engage in retail sales.

The ordnance appleis to sugar-sweetened beverages include, but are not limited to, soda; non-100%-fruit drinks; sports drinks; flavored water; energy drinks; pre-sweetened coffee or tea; and non-alcoholic beverages intended to be mixed into an alcoholic drink.

The ordnance also requires that all retailers acquire sugar-sweetened beverages from a registered distributor on or after January 1, 2017.

The registered Distributor will be responsible for paying the tax to the City.  However, if the Dealer (Retailer) did not obtain their sugar-sweetened beverage from a registered Distributor then they will be liable for paying the tax to the City.

If the Dealer is also a Registered Distributor no additional tax is imposed if they supply sugar-sweetened beverages to other Dealers.

Distributors will also have to file a report quarterly showing how much sugar-sweetened beverages they sold and the amount in taxes owed.

Any business that fails to comply with this ordnance will result in the suspension of their business license from the city.

This ordnance will take effect January 1, 2017.

Philadelphia City Council Ordnance
Philadelphia City Council Ordnance History

By Bill Williams














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