Beverage tax lawsuit filed in Philadelphia

The American Beverage Association, along with a number of other plaintiffs, filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of Philadelphia’s beverage tax. The challenge is based on the following: 
  • The City lacks the power to tax the same subject or property already taxed by the state.
  • The City may not tax the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) purchases of Philadelphia's 492,000 SNAP beneficiaries.
  • The tax is prohibited by the Pennsylvania constitution from imposing taxes that are not uniform.
While the lawsuit contains the request for the January 1, 2017, effective date to be delayed—it is up to the Court of Common Pleas to decide if it will approve the request to delay the effective date of the tax.