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Tax

NEWS
May 5, 2016 | By Tricia L. Nadolny and Julia Terruso, STAFF WRITERS
The American Beverage Association poured $1.5 million into the fight against Mayor Kenney's proposed sugary-drinks tax during the month after the plan was introduced in early March, lobbying reports released Tuesday show. And that was before the association took its message to television. "We have and will continue to take the steps necessary to inform Philadelphians about the truth of this grocery-tax proposal," said Anthony Campisi, spokesman for the No Philly Grocery Tax Coalition, using the opposition's shorthand for Kenney's tax on sugary drinks.
NEWS
May 5, 2016 | By Josh Vincent
WHEN JIM KENNEY was elected mayor, we knew what we were getting: a man who wanted to protect and to grow the city and its children. That's what we got. Many Philadelphians of goodwill are in an ethical quandary: Do we agree that a robust pre-K covering the vulnerable children of Philadelphia is a good idea? Also parks, libraries, rec centers and green jobs? Of course. There's a plan for that: It'll cost $95 million a year over four years. Who's going to pay for it? There's the rub. The funding solution lies in an increased sales tax, an excise tax, really.
NEWS
May 5, 2016 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Staff Writer
City Council members have been slow to take sides in the fight over Mayor Kenney's proposed sugary-drinks tax. But on Wednesday, some started showing allegiances. Three Council members - Republican Al Taubenberger and Democrats Jannie L. Blackwell and Maria D. Quiñones-Sánchez - took the stage at an antitax rally outside City Hall, pledging to vote against the measure. "I am proud of you," Quiñones-Sánchez said, speaking from a stage decorated with a backdrop of sugary beverages.
NEWS
May 4, 2016 | By Julia Terruso, Staff Writer
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is backing a campaign to pass a sugary-drinks tax in Philadelphia. Bloomberg, who tried to ban over-sized sodas in New York as mayor, and provided millions of dollars to support successful soda-tax initiatives in Mexico and Berkeley, Calif., has contributed to the pro-tax nonprofit Philadelphians for a Fair Future, said the group's spokesman, Kevin Feeley. The nonprofit is launching a $825,000 ad campaign starting Thursday on behalf of Mayor Kenney's plan to enact a three-cents-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks.
NEWS
May 4, 2016
ISSUE | FILM TAX CREDIT Pa. break pays off The Commonwealth Foundation's Nathan Benefield was wrong to call for the end of the Pennsylvania film tax credit ("Time to end Pa.'s corporate-welfare handouts," April 26). He claimed that the returns on economic development programs don't justify the expense, and he cited industry studies that counted only direct tax payments to states from productions. In fact, an array of state and local taxes are paid by cast and crew, hospitality and municipal workers, and businesses that invest in and serve the film industry.
NEWS
May 2, 2016 | By Mike Newall, Columnist
Let's do the math. In San Francisco, in 2014, the beverage industry spent $10 million to defeat a popular soda tax put in front of voters to raise money for city schools, health programs, and parks. That comes out to about $11 spent by Big Soda for each resident of the Golden City. In Philadelphia, the beverage industry, according to the latest spending numbers obtained by the Inquirer, has already poured more than $2.6 million into the avalanche of misleading ads (it's not a grocery tax!
BUSINESS
May 1, 2016 | By Joel Naroff
One of the biggest issues facing Philadelphia is how to fund Mayor Kenney's goal of providing universal prekindergarten programs. The mayor has proposed taxing sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs). Unfortunately, while the pre-K initiative is critical, the expected funding goals are not likely to be met. I support Kenney's universal pre-K initiative. I have been involved with this issue for nearly a decade as a board member of the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia. My "Random Economics" column on Oct. 8, 2014 - 18 months ago - argued that this program should be funded.
NEWS
April 30, 2016
ISSUE | SODA TAX Clinton playing politics with city taxpayers Hillary Clinton's support of Mayor Kenney's regressive 3-cents-an-ounce sugary-drinks tax is misguided ("Clinton, Cruz bring campaigns to Pa.," April 21). We sincerely doubt that she was made aware of the significant loss of family-sustaining jobs that will result if this outrageous tax is passed. Similarly, Clinton likely has no idea that the projected revenues from the tax will never come to fruition due to the precipitous decline in sales of sugar-sweetened drinks that will occur and the underground markets that will arise if the tax proposal becomes law. Keep in mind that Kenney endorsed Clinton for president.
NEWS
April 29, 2016 | By Don Sapatkin, Staff Writer
Harvard University researchers are projecting major health benefits if Mayor Kenney's proposed tax on sugar-sweetened beverages is enacted. Within a few years of the three-cents-an-ounce tax's beginning, they forecast, nearly 2,300 diabetes diagnoses would be prevented annually, and eventually, 36,000 people a year would avoid obesity. Over a decade, about 730 deaths would be averted, and close to $200 million saved in health spending. "It is just a total winner of a policy from a public health perspective," said Steven Gortmaker, who led the analysis, being released Thursday.
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