Pennsylvania Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Philadelphia Sweetened Beverage Tax Case

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments on the legality of Philadelphia’s sweetened beverage tax. The Court granted the petition for allowance of appeal of January 30, 2018. The Court will hear arguments regarding whether the beverage tax is in violation of the Sterling Act, which prohibits Pennsylvania from imposing a tax on a transaction that the Commonwealth already taxes. Philadelphia’s sweetened beverage tax – which is 1.5 cents per ounce – was approved by the Philadelphia City Council on June 16, 2016 and became effective January 1, 2017. Shortly after the beverage tax was approved, Philadelphia was sued by a group including the American Beverage Association, claiming that the tax violates the Sterling Act. These beverages are also subject to the state and local sales & use tax. On June 14, 2017, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania upheld the constitutionality of the beverage tax. (No. 321 EAL 2017, Petition for Allowance of Appeal from the Order of the Commonwealth Court)

Posted on February 15, 2018