Grassroots Change
facebook twitter instagram

In the Soda-Tax Fight, Money’s flowing from Big Soda Like a Big Gulp

May 4, 2016

Philly

April 29, 2016

by Mike Newall

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!) blanketing our airwaves against the tax designed to fund universal pre-K programs, build community schools and repair crumbling recreation centers.

Here’s the catch – this time around, the beverage barons only have to win over City Council. There are 17 Council members, so that comes out to about $152,000 in ad dollars each.

Philadelphia is a battleground Big Soda cannot afford to lose.

Yes, Berkeley, Calif., wedged its Birkenstock-shod foot in the beverage industry’s door when it passed a soda tax in 2014, becoming the first city in America to do so.

But if Philly, the poorest big city in the nation, a place teeming with those who suffer most from the ravages of sugary drinks, is able to best the soda titans and pass a tax, that door would be kicked right open.

Read the news article.