Philadelphia was the second city in America to put a tax on sugary drinks and a recent study shows that the city lost money and jobs over that ill thought out law.
In the first year of the tax, the sales of soda fell by 51% in the city, while surrounding towns picked up the slack, showing that people just left the city to buy their soda. One ShopRite supermarket closed, blaming the soda tax, that was causing people to quit shopping there and doing their shopping outside Philadelphia.
Seattle found that they encountered the same problems. The reduced sales caused businesses to lay off employees.
But a new study published in the medical journal JAMA last week reveals the tax has produced unintended consequences.
What are the details?
The study found that during the first year of the tax, soft drink sales fell a whopping 51 percent within the Philadelphia city limits.
CNN explains: The study compared beverage costs and sales in Philadelphia — following implementation of the 1.5 cents per ounce tax — with Baltimore, which has a similar demographic but doesn’t have the same sales tax. With the tax, beverages in Philadelphia jumped from 5.43 cents per ounce in 2016 to 6.24 cents in 2017. In Baltimore, beverages went up from 5.33 cents per ounce to just 5.50 cents.
However, the study also found that after Philadelphia implemented its new tax that soda sales in neighboring municipalities — which do not have the tax — went up.
That means people were traveling outside of Philadelphia to still consume sugary drinks, just at a lower price. The result, of course, undermines the desired effect of the law, which is to improve consumer health by economically limiting marketplace choices, while proving what many critics of the tax said would happen.