In his first budget address as Philadelphia's mayor, Jim Kenney described his plan to fund a variety of initiatives ranging from childhood education to providing police with more body cameras.
On Thursday, Mayor Kenney presented his ambitious budgetary plan to expand childhood education, revamp parks, libraries and recreation centers, improve energy efficiency in public buildings and provide police with more body cameras. Much of the funding for these plans comes from his proposed additional tax of 3 cents per ounce on sugary beverage distributors.
But he faces an uphill battle against his friends in the restaurant and hospitality industries, who are worried they will have to pass the cost of the tax onto their consumers. Kenney's 3-cent tax is double the proposal made almost six years ago by then-mayor Michael Nutter. His was shot down twice by City Council.
“The problem is that Big Soda charges our citizens, small businesses and distributors much, much more than what it costs for them to make the soda,” Kenney said before explaining how this proposed tax will not impact small businesses or jobs.
“Employment did not slow down after the liquor tax was instated,” the mayor said. “Small grocers, bodegas and convenience stores are already stocking and selling non-sugary beverages.”