In November, I noted that the national press, after extensively covering Philadelphia's deceptively named 1.5 cents per ounce "soda tax" when it passed in mid-2016, has ignored its negative fallout, including layoffs at distributors and grocers along with a significant collections shortfall. The non-coverage continues, even though it's clear that the jobs lost aren't coming back, additional jobs have been lost, and collections will never reach original projections.
In June of last year, with much national media fanfare, the City of Philadelphia passed a dishonestly named "soda tax." The levy of 1.5 cents per ounce, which taxes not only sugar-sweetened beverages but also drinks containing "any form of artificial sugar substitute, including stevia, aspartame, sucralose, neotame, acesulfame potassium (Ace-K), saccharin, and advantame" after it took effect on January 1, was supposed to raise over $90 million. Actual collections are falling far short, and appear to be in decline. The national press is uninterested in reporting this result.
The national press could barely hide its glee in June 2016 when Philadelphia passed a "soda tax" of 1.5 cents per ounce levied against non-alcoholic beverages containing "any form of artificial sugar substitute, including stevia, aspartame, sucralose, neotame, acesulfame potassium (Ace-K), saccharin, and advantame." Now that the predictions of opponents have virtually all come to pass, accompanied by unintended consequences even they didn't anticipate, the national press is barely interested.
What everyone knew would happen as a result of Philadelphia's 1.5 cents-per-ounce soda tax began materializing on Wednesday, as Pepsi announced that it would lay off roughly 20 percent of its workforce there over the next several months. Coverage at both Philly.com and Associated Press allowed the city to engage in fantasy by claiming without meaningful challenge, or even clarification, that Pepsi in particular, but clearly other beverage makers by implication, should be using profits earned elsewhere to subsidize their Philly operations.
In June, the City of Philadelphia, in what was hailed as a "historic moment for public health," passed a deliberately misnamed 1.5-cent per ounce "soda tax." What anyone with a lick of sense could have predicted would happen is happening, and the national press is mostly ignoring the tragic results.