Philadelphia Soda Tax Forces Local University To Hike Student Costs By $400,000

Tyler Durden's picture

Students at Temple University in Philadelphia, or perhaps their parents, are getting a great lesson today on the real life economic consequences of liberal political policies run amok.  Courtesy of Philly's new 1.5 cent per ounce 'soda tax', Temple has been forced to hike it's 2017-2018 boarding costs by $400,000, or roughly 4.8%.  Per, Temple's CFO said they will roll back the planned $400,000 meal plan hike if the soda tax is repealed.

Board rates will rise an additional 4.8 percent for 2017-18 solely because of the 1.5-cent-per-ounce sweetened-beverage tax, which went into effect this year, the university said. The tax was enacted to help fund parks, recreation centers, and early childhood education. Heated debate over it continues, with PepsiCo having announced planned layoffs and retailers reporting steep losses.


The total impact of the new tax is estimated to be $400,000 per semester, said Ken Kaiser, Temple's chief financial officer. The university will roll back the board increase if the tax is repealed, he said.


"This is another example of the damaging impact this tax is having on Philadelphia families," said Anthony Campisi, a spokesman for Ax the Philly Bev Tax Coalition, made up of a number of Philadelphia businesses and residents, many of them involved in the soda industry. "It’s ironic that a tax the mayor sold on the basis of expanding educational access is now going to be making higher ed less affordable for students."



Of course, Philadelphia's Mayor, who has come under fairly constant attack for the controversial tax, said that Temple is simply using his legislation as a scapegoat to "pay for their ever-growing administrative salaries and new, expensive buildings and amenities."

"The beverage tax is becoming a popular scapegoat for unpopular decisions," said spokeswoman Lauren Hitt. "Universities across the country have been raising meal-plan fees because families are increasingly chafing at tuition increases, and universities still want to pay for their ever-growing administrative salaries and new, expensive buildings and amenities."


"Temple's own administration staff has grown by 40 percent in recent years; they are planning to build a multimillion-dollar stadium; their new 24-story dorm includes flat screen TVs; and, sure enough, they have a history of raising their meal-plan fees to cover those costs - by 2.5 percent in 2015 and 4.3 percent in 2014."

As we pointed out a couple of weeks ago, when Philadelphia became the first US city to pass a soda tax last summer, city officials were eagerly looking forward to the surplus-tax funded windfall to plug gaping budget deficits (and, since this is Philadelphia, the occasional embezzlement scheme). Then, after the tax went into effect on January 1st we showed the tax applied in practice: a receipt for a 10 pack of flavored water carried a 51% beverage tax. And since  PA has a sales tax of 6% and Philly already charges another 2%, the total sales tax was 8%. In other words, a purchase which until last year came to $6.47 had overnight become $9.75.


Then came the layoffs as soda sales slumped as much as 40% forcing Pepsi to lay off 80 to 100 workers at three distribution plants that serve Philly. And since Pepsi only employed 423 people in the city, it meant that as much as 20% of its employees were suddenly out of a job due to a disastrous ordnance that was meant to provide additional municipal funding and instead will now lead to an increase in unemployment, coupled with a general decline in consumption, not to mention tax revenues for the city of Philadelphia.

A spokesman for Pepsi said "The layoffs come in response to the  beverage tax, which has cut sales by 40 percent in the city...Unfortunately, after careful consideration of the economic realities created by the recently enacted beverage tax, we have been forced to give notice that we intend to eliminate 80 to 100 positions, including frontline and supervisory roles."

But not to worry, we're sure Philly students can just take out more student loans to cover these increased costs...we certainly wouldn't want them to have to divert any portion of their student loans that they've already set aside for Cancun.

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Jim Sampson's picture


Son of Loki's picture

They're gonna need sum of dat monee for protection from the dindu tribe if they go to Temple U:


Mob attacks on Temple students stoke racial tensions


Joe Lauletta, 50, wrote on Facebook a day after the flash mob-style attacks that a group of 30 to 40 “black teenagers” assaulted his daughter, Christina, 19, and her two male friends on their way home from a Temple football game at Lincoln Financial Field on Friday.


Authorities say the dindu attack only on the white students was not racially motivated......



847328_3527's picture

Middle of the ghett-toe is Temple U. Used to be a nice area ... about 70 years ago.

So was "South Philly" which used to be a hard-working Italian neighborhod and "Germantown" which was mostly, you guesed it, hard working Germans.


beemasters's picture

They've got too much sodas in their system...

I used to drink those one can a day and my body weight shot up within a month. It has returned to normal since I stopped. The craving is now gone completely too.

LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD's picture
LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD (not verified) beemasters Mar 16, 2017 7:00 PM

Working just as Philly planned. A LOT more money for vote buying programs and a lot of people out of work, now dependent on the government for food. Bigger, more authoritarian, government all around. A totalitarian leftist's dream world coming true!

NoDebt's picture

I'm just kicking back, firing up a smoke right now (half the cost of which is taxes), sipping on the first vodka double of the night (~1/3 the cost of which is taxes) and thinking how awesome it is that I don't drink soda.  That sugar man, that'll kill you quick.

I didn't see a whole lot of people standing up and screaming on my behalf when they were jacking up the taxes on my smokes (because you don't smoke).  So here's how much I care about this sugary drink tax (which doesn't affect me because I don't live in Philly and rarely drink soda):  --><--  that much.


cheka's picture

maybe they can apply for the historically black college handouts from dc.  that runs 5 BILLION per year

CheapBastard's picture

They might want to scream, "The Soda tax is Rayciss."

That usually goes over big in those thick dirty multicultural cities and gets you what you want.

PT's picture

I missed something here.  $400k?  How much soda is that?  Divided over how many people?  Over what time span?  (I think they said per semester).

How much soda per person per day?
How many $ per person per day?

Just checking.

PT's picture

Re "Board rates will rise an additional 4.8 percent for 2017-18 solely because of the 1.5-cent-per-ounce sweetened-beverage tax ..." :

Good thing the tax was not 31.25 c/oz or the board would have gone up by 100%.

$400k --> ~ 26M oz --> if 8 oz cans then ~ 3 million cans
over 6 months
---> 18000 cans per day

What have we got?
18 cans per day x 1000 people?
6 cans per day x 3000 people?
1 can per day x 18000 people?

1.5c/oz x 8 oz = 12 cents per can
18 cans per day x 12 cents = $2.16 per day = $15.12 per week
$15.12 per week as 4.8% of board ---> board = $315 per week
or at 3 cans per day ---> board = $52.50 per week
or at one can per day ---> board = $17.50 per week

Of course, I may be wrong.  They might be 24oz cans.

Anyone out there got the real figures?

hannah's picture

this is what the father said...'“I need her to be more cognizant and less trusting,” he said. “I need her to not take the subway and to drive her car. I absolutely want her to be in business school at Temple, she’s doing very well. She just has to be more aware and not do certain things and change her patterns.”'


ok when the father starts saying...'“I need her to be more cognizant and less trusting of black people because they are criminals and will fuck you over...'...when the father says this the problem CAN THEN START TO BE SERIOUSLY LOOKED AT.....because right now it isnt about race but we all know that blacks did this. you cant solve the problem if you live in denial about the cause.....

CheapBastard's picture

Another delusional disconnected white parent whose kid will grow up feeling fear her entire life because she doesn;t understand where the threats are coming from.

She's probably vote Democrat most of her life until some dindu guns her down for her purse some day on the streets of Philly.

Spungo's picture

Parents can't be honest. The state turns your own kids against you. You can never admit to racial profiling, so you need to stick to vague terms like "thugs" when describing people to avoid.

Lorca&#039;s Novena's picture

Lets start taxing matzo balls and manischewitz wine then?

venturen's picture

welcome to liberal cannibal island....who will  survive? 

Doom Porn Star's picture

No one.

The last man standing will be left to eat himslef or starve.

I think Stephen King covered this succinctly with a grisly short story some time ago...

shovelhead's picture

Shit that looks good on paper turns into shit on toiletpaper.

Way to go, Philly.

BlindMonkey's picture

The tax looked like asswipe in reality but good on ledger paper.  Imagine what happens when you look at income taxes in the same way.

yogibear's picture

The leftist/ Libtards always lie. They know their followers are too stupid to call them on it.

The democrats even stated it.

Cassandra.Hermes's picture

Good Tax is working, Temple water price is the same! Let sudents drink water, it is healthy!

major major major major's picture

^ Right... Don't include so-duh in the meal plan.

CRM114's picture

Seen on a Hoegaarden Beer mat (in Flemish)

"Don't drink water, fish fuck in it!"

cbxer55's picture

They also shit and piss in it. So do people who swim in it.

Got The Wrong No's picture

So having control of your own body only applys to Pussy Hat wearing Lib Women. Interesting

rsi1's picture

Soda consumption down by 40%, a few jobs lost, fine by me. There will be tons of savings in healthcare costs. (diabetes, obesity,...)

squid's picture

"There will be tons of savings in healthcare costs. (diabetes, obesity,...)"


And that is why it will be repealed. The medical monopolies won't allow a reduction of obesity.



Ludwig Von's picture

And what is the cost of obese students? Ow, that is on another budget? I don 't like this kind of taxes, but neither do I like this kind of BS writing.

Ex-Oligarch's picture

The tax also hits diet beverages, as well as fruit juices, iced teas, etc.
If you want to drink nothing but water and alcohol, go for it.
Leave the rest of the population out of it.

Doom Porn Star's picture

This tax is BAD but ALL the other taxes are GOOD!

What don't you understand?


""The __________ tax is becoming a popular scapegoat for unpopular decisions," said spokeswoman Lauren Hitt. "***POLITICIANS AND BUREAUCRATS*** still want to pay for their ever-growing administrative salaries and new, expensive buildings and amenities."



roisaber's picture

To be fair, stop drinking the carbonated jew.

red1chief's picture

Like the lottery, I'm fine with a soda tax. I prefer taxes to be voluntary, it's the unavoidable mandatory taxes I don't like. 

Stinkytofu's picture

i'm fine with a voluntary tax on use of the name "red1chief" on internet boards.

i'm fine with a voluntary tax on a user closing the account of "red1chief".

i'm fine with a voluntary tax on not closing the account of "red1chief".

i'm fine with a voluntary tax on anyone changing the name "red1chief" to avoid the voluntary tax.

i'm fine with a voluntary tax on "red1chief" downvoting my comment.

i'm fine with a voluntary tax on "red1chief" upvoting my comment.

i'm fine with a voluntary tax on "red1chief" not up/downvoting my comment.

johnnycanuck's picture

Soda Warriors unite!  Isn't it your right to have  waddling obese youth with bad teeth (Walmartians, the Next Generation) venturing forth to meet the challenges of the 21st Century?

Coca Cola and Pepsico think so.  So do websites with anti most everything readers, and who may get a little coin from the Big Gulp folks for their defense of everyone's human right to scarf down a lot of SODA.

Meanwhile, Trump's foreigner representative at the UN is having a fit about UN report that claims Israel is guilty of apartheid.  But that's not nearly as important as soda pop.

"The United States is outraged by the report," said Haley in a statement."

or this;

"Up to 1,000 additional US troops could deploy to northern Syria under provisional plans drawn up by the Pentagon, a US defense official said on Wednesday.
squid's picture

ahhh........ comments from the decayed dominion.

Whilst I'm not arguing with your premise that sugar causes arterial thrombosis and insulin resistance, I am arguing about your so called cure....MORE government interference.


Sugar is the tip of the ice berge as ALL carbohydrates break down into glucous in the blood stream and all carbs cause a skyrocketing of blood sugar. Health Canada and the FDA still happily tell people to eat loads of carbs everyday....even though they are killing us. And let's not dwell on the subsidies handed out the sugar beet industry in Canada.


Carbs are fine if you are starving, else they are not. They were in fact invented  to assuage the problem of starvation and successfully so I might add. So for the last 6,000 years we have figured out how not to starve in the winter, but, for the previous 1,994,000 years we've been on the planet we did not eat carbs, we ate meat, greens and fruit when we could find it. The insulin response is simply an emergency mechanism to rid your body of the poison of glucous in your blood should it rise after gorging yourself on a unique find of ripe apples or pears. It is meant as an emergency measure NOT to be engaged 3-8 times per day every day. Hammer your body like that for 65 years and of course your cells will stop reacting to insulin, what did you expect?


We started studying nutrition while having today's diet thus convincing ourselves that this diet is normal, it isn't. Since discovering sewage and drinking water separation, innoculations and antibiotics we are now living long enough to be killed by carbs.... The problem is, farming is mostly about carbs and sugar is a carb. It's BIG money so if you want to change this, you need to do it on your own. I would settle for the lies to stop but they won't aa a large part of the lies come directly from the state to protect the farming lobby.


Why the belief that a problem caused by government interference will be solved by more government interference is a mem I find confusing but I will give you this, it is VERY Canadian.



Weirdly's picture

One Bacon Salad please.

squid's picture

One of the healthiest things you can eat I might add.

The more fat on the bacon the better.

Fat cause ZERO insulin response, it does NOTHING to your blood sugar and takes 4-8 hours to digest so you feel full longer.


It's counter intuitive but if you want to burn fat, eat lots of fat.


It's useful to remember that it's fat going in but digests into other stuff. You need insulin in your blood to store fat. Without the presence of insulin, your body does what it was designed to do, burn fat for fuel.



SmedleyButlersGhost's picture

 Simple, add soda drinks to student loans debt.  Problem solved.  How to deal with fat and stupid ---  go army!!

Krungle's picture

Is there a reason they need to continue offering soda? They could just offer water. Problem solved. 

As to the jobs lost from the tax nonsense, just look at the history of how the sugar and corn fructose lobbies have massively harmed consumers, warped marketplaces, and suckled at the teat of government in the form of price supports and subsidies. There would literally be no soda jobs at all if the sugar water industry had not specifically cockblocked science on the dangers of excess sugar consumption for decades. We are talking about an industry that has contributed majorly to the $10,000 per capita health care costs in the US. Yeah, if you're going to spend billions trying to advertise to kids to drink your sugar water and manipulate the marketplace to reduce competition to your sugar water and otherwise try to con low information humans into drinking that swill then yes, someone will need to hurt the plebs in their pocket books in order to reduce the healthcare cost burden that we all share. 

When we all don't have to share in the burden created by these products, and when they can compete without using the state to gain an advantage, then we can talk about regulatory overreach and nanny-statism. In the meantime this is just another cartel whining that some other cartel (in this case the city) is putting the squeeze on them to fund their own pet projects. Cry me a river of fructose.

Ex-Oligarch's picture

The tax doesn't just hit sugar-sweetened beverages. 
Your comment might be applicable to some other taxing regime, but not this one, which also hits a wide variety of low-calorie, no-calorie, all-natural juices and other beverages.
If you'd taken the time you spent writing your comment and instead read something about the ambit of the tax, such as any of the prior ZH articles, you might have had something relevant to say about it.

jmack's picture

why dont they just drink tap water, like they do in Flint?

Kprime's picture

is there a tax on the windfall lead supply you get in the water? or is the flint government letting everyone get this lead for free?

truthalwayswinsout's picture

I celebrated this tax by no longer drinking soda. I will save a nice tidy sum each year and lose 200 calories per day.  I do not live in Philadelphia and enjoy not giving my money to the scum Warren Buffet.

I no longer use Duracell batteries and no longer buy anything from Kelloggs.

I no longer pay to watch anything from Hollywood and proud of it as well.

One day when enough of you join me the pay to do a blockbuster movie will be $50,000, which is the fair price for socialist communist left wing nut cakes who hate America.

Please join me.

silverer's picture

Apparently, we just stumbled on a way to save the minds of young America. A soda tax in every city. Who'd have thought? It will make the Marxist institutions too expensive to attend.

Hal n back's picture

Its just funny to think the govt is running out of people to tax, and then next thie round robin charges will increase GDP, if we can only get every taxing body to charge for soda, coffee and then alcoholic beverages.

Trump is correct and one of the few in politics actually striving to reduce govt.

New_Meat's picture

Here in the Commonwealth (or Nigeria) we do pay taxes on alcoholic beverages.  In fact, for a while we paid taxes on the taxes.  But the tom-tom drums and smoke signals got to be too much for our ledislature, and despite their track record on ballot initiatives, they relented.

RagaMuffin's picture

You may not be able to fix stupid, but you can always make it more expensive

RedDwarf's picture

Yes, a prime example of retarded governmental overreach.  This kind of thing however is why it's very, very bad that we have such a massively powerful federal government.  If different states or cities go full retard at different times the Union will do fine, people will just move.  When stuff like this happens at the Federal level, there's no place to run other than leaving the country.

iamrefreshed's picture

The "tax" is working just like the Progs wanted. Less people are drinking soda thereby extending their lifespans. Why are they pissed that revenue has decreased? Did not hey sell this as a plus for everyone?

CRM114's picture

Because they are going outside the the city limits and buying it,so the city loses the revenue and still has the medical costs of a horde of fat-asses.