Philadelphia’s sugary drink tax went into effect January 1 and the only thing everyone seems to agree on is that it’s confusing.
The 1.5 cents-per-ounce tax includes obvious things like soda as well as less-obvious beverages with sugar-based sweeteners. Some of the few exceptions are drinks with greater than 50 percent milk or greater than 50 percent fruit or vegetables or a combination of both. But customers across the city have been charged for the soda tax on items that don’t meet the requirements (ahem, hot sauce). ShopRite has acknowledged it’s overcharged customers as the store attempts to navigate the tax, and corner store owners say they’re already struggling.
The biggest takeaways? Labels are confusing, sugar is everywhere and some the tax is not consistently being passed onto consumers.
Billy Penn has decided there’s only one way to get to the bottom of this. We want everyone in Philadelphia to tell us how much sugary drinks cost at their local supermarkets and corner stores. Next time you buy a soda, tea, juice or something else sweet, fill out this simple form. We’re going to map the Philadelphia soda tax.