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NJ Advance Media/Star-Ledger- January 3, 2017

Sugary drink tax hits with major sticker shock in Philly

PHILADELPHIA -- It just got considerably more expensive to buy sugary drinks in Philadelphia and customers have been sharing receipts that show the itemized additional cost.

In some instances consumers are paying more in taxes than they are for the product itself, 6ABC.com said. For example, one man who bought one gallon of sweet tea paid $3.69 - $1.77 for the tea and $1.92 in tax.

The city's 1.5 cent per ounce tax took effect Sunday, driving up the prices customers will pay for soda, tea and other drinks with sugar or artificial sweetener.

The tax also applies to diet soda as well as powders and concentrates used to make sweet drinks.

It's being levied on beverage distributors, who pass it on to merchants. The vendors then make customers pay more.

The American Beverage Association sued to stop the tax last month, but a Philadelphia judge tossed the lawsuit, Fox29.com said.

The tax is expected to generate about $90 million this year and fund city pre-school educational programs, parks and recreation centers.

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