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Soda tax may not be the only school-funding loss if new Pa. House Bill passes

May 24, 2018

The Philadelphia Inquirer,

Darrell L. Clarke,

May 21, 2018-

As resources for services, programs, and critical needs including public education have declined, municipalities have been forced to think creatively about how to make up the gap without overburdening local taxpayers. One creative solution put forth locally is the Philadelphia Beverage Tax (PBT), a levy on the distribution of artificially and sugar-sweetened beverages in order to expand quality pre-K to our children.

We know that early childhood education pays dividends, not just academically but in overall health and other metrics. Polls show pre-K expansion is overwhelmingly popular in Pennsylvania. Yet, investments by the commonwealth have failed to meet demand. City Council’s vote on the PBT was one of the most emotional we’ve ever seen. Yet, we made the difficult decision to approve this tax, knowing the PBT would yield significant investments for early childhood education. Which is why we are extremely concerned that an effort to kill the PBT appears to be working its way through the Pennsylvania House.

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