Philadelphia could become 1st major US city with soda tax

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia City Council is set to vote on an amended version of a soda tax proposal that would set a 1.5 cent-per-ounce tax on sugary and diet drinks.

Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney's initial proposal was for a 3-cent tax on sugary beverages only, but he lacked the votes to secure it. He wants the tax to pay for universal prekindergarten, community schools and park improvements.

Hundreds of people showed up Wednesday for a public hearing before the vote. Opponents shouted "No new tax!" Supporters countered with "Kids can't wait."

The soda industry has spent millions of dollars on a campaign to stop Philadelphia from becoming the first major U.S. city with a sugary-drinks tax.

Berkeley, California, is the only U.S. city to approve such a tax.