City Controller reports Philly’s beverage tax hauled in $137M

Pat Loeb
December 11, 2018 - 6:33 pm
Soda Generic

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- The Philadelphia City Controller said she is keeping an eye on the soda tax revenue after her report finds that it has brought in $137 million.

The report covers soda tax revenue through September. That's a month and a half after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled the tax is legal, so the city could start spending it.

City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart says about a quarter of it has already gone to the three programs it's intended for.

“About 23 percent has gone toward pre-K, about two percent has gone toward Community Schools and under one percent to Parks and Rec Rebuild,” she said.

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The mayor's chief of staff Jim Engler says the city will start spending more rapidly now that litigation is over.

Rebuild, for instance, just sold its first set of bonds at the end of last month and has its first groundbreaking this week.

“We're excited about the transformative programs that we are continuing to launch and continuing to expand over the next several years and the impact that they're going to have for Philadelphians,” she said.

The city plans to add a thousand pre-K seats and three more community schools next fall.