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Soda Tax Expected To Gain City Council Committee Approval

Compromise bill to charge 1.5 cents per ounce could pass any minute

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A powerful city council committee is expected to approve a tax on sugary drinks today, which practically guarantees its passage by the full council. According to, a compromise proposal to charge a 1.5 cent-per-ounce tax instead of the 3 cent-per-ounce Mayor Jim Kenney had pursued, had enough votes last night to win passage during this afternoon's meeting of the Committee of the Whole. With more casual rules than an official city council meeting, The Committee of the Whole comprises all city council members and generally meets to debate and vote on larger issues ahead of full council meetings, where a final vote is taken.

The tax, which former Mayor Michael Nutter had unsuccessfully championed during his terms, is dedicated toward expanding pre-k programs and improving rec centers, libraries and parks. Council members could have also voted on a proposal today to charge 15 cents per container of soda, diet soda or sugary drink but reporters say Councilwoman Cindy Bass told them that the 1.5 cent charge looks likely to pass instead.

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