Court up­holds Philadel­phia’s tax on sweet­ened drinks

The Washington Times Daily - - NATION -

An ap­peals court on Wed­nes­day up­held Philadel­phia’s 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on sweet­ened bev­er­ages, say­ing it does not du­pli­cate Penn­syl­va­nia’s state sales tax.

Un­der Penn­syl­va­nia law, cities can­not tax trans­ac­tions, sub­jects or prop­erty that are al­ready taxed by the state.

Restau­rants, bev­er­age dis­trib­u­tors and oth­ers in the in­dus­try had sued the city, claim­ing its new tax vi­o­lated that pro­hi­bi­tion.

Com­mon­wealth Court’s 5-2 de­ci­sion said the bev­er­age tax, im­posed on dis­trib­u­tors, does not hit the same sub­ject or peo­ple as the sales tax. The court backed a de­ci­sion by a city judge in De­cem­ber.

The levy, the ma­jor­ity said, “taxes non­re­tail dis­tri­bu­tion trans­ac­tions and not re­tail sale to a con­sumer,” and it merely has the same re­lated sub­jects as the sales tax.

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