Philadelphia could become 1st major US city with soda tax

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia could soon become the first major U.S. city to adopt a tax on sugary drinks.

Mayor Jim Kenney proposed a 3-cent-an-ounce tax on soda and other sugary beverages to pay for universal prekindergarten, community schools and park improvements.

Opponents of a proposed sugary drink tax demonstrate outside City Hall in Philadelphia, Wednesday, June 8, 2016. Philadelphia City Council is set to consider a sugary drink tax that Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney wants to pay for universal prekindergarten, community schools and park improvements. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Opponents of a proposed sugary drink tax demonstrate outside City Hall in Philadelphia, Wednesday, June 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The City Council is scheduled to take a key vote Wednesday on what is expected to be a compromise measure.

The soda industry has fought the proposal with millions of dollars in advertising.

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

Philadelphia has twice failed in the past decade to pass a soda tax.

New York and San Francisco have also been unsuccessful. Berkeley, California, was the first U.S. city to approve such a tax.

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