PHILADELPHIA – The City has issued the following statements in response to the decisive ruling today in Commonwealth Court on the Philadelphia Beverage Tax:

City Solicitor Sozi Pedro Tulante:
“The Commonwealth Court judges gave thorough consideration to the plaintiffs’ claims and an overwhelming majority came to the same conclusion as Common Pleas Court: that the American Beverage Association’s arguments are without merit.  In doing so, the Commonwealth Court affirms the Court of Common Pleas’ ruling that City Council had full legal authority to enact the Philadelphia Beverage Tax and that the tax is lawful.  We appreciate the judges’ exhaustive examination of the matter, and urge plaintiffs to set aside a legal action that now has been soundly rejected by two courts.”

Mayor Jim Kenney:
“Two courts have now considered the arguments of the beverage industry and both are certain that the Philadelphia Beverage Tax stands on solid legal grounds.  As I stated when the beverage tax was upheld in Common Pleas Court, the children of Philadelphia are waiting for the opportunities that the tax can provide.  Our entire city desperately needs us to be able to move forward with the programs funded by the tax and we will be unable to do that in full until full legal action is resolved.  The beverage industry needs to see this ruling for what it is – a clear statement Philadelphia has the right to try to provide for its own – and cease the legal and public relations battle to which it has devoted millions.  The beverage industry should not ask our children to wait another minute.”