On June 16, 2016, the city of Philadelphia passed the soda tax law with the final vote of 13-4. Making Philadelphia the second city in the U.S. to approve the soda tax law. Back in 2014, Berkeley, California became the first city to pass the new soda tax. Slowly many cities are proposing the same tax law to be approved, for the past eight years. Many cities rejected cases including twice in Philadelphia, some cities are still insisting to pass the law. However, this keeps beverage companies on high alert on soda revenue decreases. The pros and cons of this situation are under a balanced scale, the tax may help those from health risks, but at the same time it won't control obesity or other conditions.
One of the pros of approving the soda tax law will help prevent health risks, such as diabetes and obesity. Currently over 37.5% of adults and 20% of children over the age of 12-19 are dealing with obesity in the United States. According to Dr. Michael Long, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Prevention and Community Health of George Washington University, he and colleagues at the Harvard School of Public Health published a 10-year estimate of the health impacts of a 1-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks in Philadelphia. "We'd expect over 12,000 cases of obesity prevented by the end of the 10-year period, as well as $65 million in health care cost savings over the 10-year period," Long said in an interview. With the the tax law being approved, "12,000 cases of obesity would be prevented and $65 million in health care cost savings over the 10-year period" according to Long.
The American Beverage Association, however; isn't fond of the new tax law. Lauren Kane, spokeswoman for the association, said in a statement "The fact remains that these taxes are discriminatory and highly unpopular - not only with Philadelphians, but with all Americans." She also noted that the ABA would try to take legal action to stop it. The logic of raising taxes for soda, prices go up and people don't buy, however; it doesn't stop entirely, as a whole, for obesity to end. The con of this tax law is that it wouldn't guarantee to prevent "12,000 cases of obesity", since sugar can be found in different forms of food and beverages instead of just soda. It all depends on self control with our diet, genetics and lifestyle that can prevent health risks. In other words, it's all about self control with our bodies.
The new tax goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2017, for Philadelphia and is estimated to raise $91 million a year. That money will be used to fund pre-K expansion, community schools, reinvestment in parks and recreation centers, and add to the City's General Fund. It will also fund tax credits that the council approved for retailers that sell "healthy" beverages. The soda tax isn't a solution or a substitute to help people from health risks, it's a solution for the city it self to receive another form of income.