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Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court upholds Philadelphia’s beverage tax

On June 14, 2017, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania sustained the Philadelphia Beverage Tax (PBT), more commonly known as the “Soda Tax.” In September 2016, a group of beverage industry associations and affected local retailers filed suit to block enforcement of the PBT. In a 5-2 decision, the Commonwealth Court affirmed a lower court ruling finding the PBT a valid tax, holding that it did not duplicate Pennsylvania’s state sales tax, was not pre-empted by the Food Stamp Act, and did not pose a uniformity violation. The decision allows the city to proceed fully in its enforcement of the PBT.