Republicans react to sugar tax

The Philadelphia Republican Party is criticizing Democrats on City Council for last week’s passage of a tax on sugary and diet beverages.

The vote was 13–4. All Democrats except Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez voted for the tax, which is 1.5 cents per ounce. Republican Councilmen Brian O’Neill, Al Taubenberger and David Oh opposed the tax.

“It’s shameful how little the Democrats on Council listen to their constituents. You saw the citizens lining up in testimony against this regressive beverage tax,” said Joe DeFelice, chairman of the Philadelphia Republican Party. “If you think they’re angry now, wait till their grocery bills go up. Yes, this will obviously fall on the poorest the most. Yes, people are going to be angry about it.”

The money, in part, will fund universal pre-kindergarten, a priority of Mayor Jim Kenney. Some of the money will go to the city general fund.

Opponents of the bill vow to challenge it in court. ••