From Coke To Coors: Philly Soda Tax Leading To Alcoholism As Beer Now Cheaper Than Soda

Tyler Durden's picture

Perhaps The Burning Platform summarized the idiocy of Philadelphia's soda tax better than anyone to date:

In a shocking development, the Philadelphia soda tax is a big fucking fail. Who could have predicted that. Democrat government drones and their brain dead minions are so desperate for money to fund their gold plated union pensions and bloated salaries, they lie, cheat and tax the poor into oblivion. Result: lost jobs, further impoverished poor people, no help for children, more closed businesses, and a further hole in the city budget. But at least the city union workers can keep their gold plated pensions – for now. Maff is hard for liberals, but it always wins in the end.

But, as The Washington Free Beacon points out, the unfortunate side effects of Philly's disastrous soda tax may not be limited just to the economic consequences enumerated above.  As a study by the Tax Foundation recently found, there are social consequences as well with people now choosing to substitute beer for soda in light of the fact that, well, beer is just cheaper.

Philadelphia's tax on sugary drinks has made soda more expensive than beer in the city.


The Tax Foundation released a new study on the excise tax last week, finding that the 1.5-cent per ounce tax has fallen short of revenue projections, cost jobs, and has forced some Philadelphians to drive outside the city to buy groceries.


The study finds that the tax is 24 times higher than the Pennsylvania tax rate on beer.


"Purchases of beer are also now less expensive than nonalcoholic beverages subject to the tax in the city," according to the study, written by Courtney Shupert and Scott Drenkard. "Empirical evidence from a 2012 journal article suggests that soda taxes can push consumers to alcohol, meaning it is likely the case that consumers are switching to alcoholic beverages as a result of the tax. The paper, aptly titled From Coke to Coors, further shows that switching from soda to beer increases total caloric intake, even as soda taxes are generally aimed at caloric reduction."



While not terribly surprising, the study found that while Philly's soda tax was sold to taxpayers as a way to raise money for local schools, less than half of the proceeds are actually being used for that purpose. 

The Tax Foundation points out that unlike most cities, Philadelphia passed the tax specifically to raise revenue, not to fight obesity. The city even includes diet sodas in its tax, as a way to raise money for pre-kindergarten programs.


However, less than half of the $39.4 million collected since the tax went into effect on Jan. 1 has gone to education funding.


"[T]he tax was originally promoted as a vehicle to raise funds for prekindergarten education, but in practice it awards just 49 percent of the soda tax revenues to local pre-K programs," Shupert and Drenkard write. "Another 20 percent of the soda tax revenues fund government employee benefits or city programs, while the rest of the money will go towards parks, libraries, and community schools."

Meanwhile, lower soda sales have already started to claim the jobs of grocery and soda distribution workers.

Collections from the soda tax are also well below original projections of $92 million per year, due to tax avoidance.


"Soda sales in Philadelphia have also declined since the tax went into effect at the beginning of 2017, threatening the long-run sustainability of the tax," Shupert and Drenkard write. "According to some local distributors and retailers, sales have declined by nearly 50 percent. This is likely primarily due to higher prices, which discourage purchasing beverages in the city."


Earlier this year PepsiCo announced it was laying off up to 100 workers because of the tax, which the company blames for costing a 43 percent drop in business.


Philadelphians are also no longer able to buy 12-packs or 2-liters of Pepsi products in grocery stores due to the tax, the Tax Foundation said.

Way to think it through...

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LindseyNarratesWordress's picture



That is all that there is to say.



toady's picture

Nice. I wonder if minors are involved...

giorgioorwell's picture

LOL, the Washington Free Beacon and The Burning Platform sure are great news sources.  Seriously, Tyler?

wee-weed up's picture



Everyone who appreciates GOOD beer knows...

It's impossible to become an alcoholic on Coors!

NoDebt's picture

I'll drink to that.  In fact, I already am.  

Vatican_cameo's picture


Jus' don't be taxin' my 40's, ya know what I'm sayin'.........

NoDebt's picture

As the resident chain-smoker on ZH, I LAUGH when I hear about "outrageously high" taxes on shit.  

Oh, it's all fucking fun and games when it's about that EVIL EVIL tobacco that none of you use.  But God forbid they tax your precious soda!  

When they came for the smokers not one of you motherfuckers batted an eye.  NOBODY stood up for us smokers.  You left us to twist in the wind.  Yeah, fuck smokers, those fucking assholes.  Screw 'em!!  We've been relegated to a social status slightly below pedophiles.  

Take a guess how much I give a shit that they now tax soda to the moon because of EVIL EVIL sugar.  Not one fucking shit given by me.  I don't drink soda, so fuck you.

I want to see ONE of you motherfuckers stand up and say "it's wrong to tax that shit, no matter the product in question" and we will be allies on this issue.  But I doubt I will get any takers on that offer.

Intoxicologist's picture

Leaf only dot com has everything you need to make exquisite cigarettes at home, and it's so much cheaper than branded cigs (plus you avoid a few hundred chemicals). This is whole leaf stuff you process so expect a little elbow grease until you get it cleaned/destemmed and shredded. After that, you're golden. (Bitchez!)

Fish Gone Bad's picture

Inhaling particulant matter is a real health concern, whether it be from car exhaust, diesel exhaust, vaping, weed, cigarettes, or World Trade Center collapsing. I agree that people should be allowed to do whatever stupid shit thing they want to do, AS LONG AS IT DOES NOT AFFECT ME. And there is the rub.  Smoke travels.  Have you ever sat next to or in between FAT people at a show, or on a plane? Fuck, I hate that.  So people get all butt hurt and want to legislate behavior. Now everyone has a dog in this fight, and everyone gets to ride on the HMS Victim Cruise Line. Now I just expect some kind of entitled-fucked-up-bad-behavior everywhere I go.

kw2012's picture

If I drink a soda, no one else is going to die from that. Second hand smoke causes cancer and deaths and it stinks

Octagon's picture

same could be said about car exhast. Think about that next time you are stuck in traffic. mmmm, smells good.

Grumbleduke's picture

If second hand smoke is killing that many people and nicotine is so addictive then why is no one addicted to second hand smoke?

motorollin's picture

Here you go

it's wrong to tax that shit, no matter the product in question.

I agree.

tkelo's picture

Virginia is doing our part to funnel black market tax-free cigarettes to the rest of the eastern sea board. You're welcome.

tkelo's picture

Virginia is doing our part to funnel black market tax-free cigarettes to the rest of the eastern sea board. You're welcome.

_triplesix_'s picture

Was there a FACT in there you are disputing, or just the source, snowflake?

yogibear's picture

F'in liberals are looting us by finding new ways to tax.

They have destroyed California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, NY, NJ and are working on Colorado. 

Gold Pedant's picture

Definitely working on Colorado. Don't forget Georgia.

Alabama is interesting. If you spend some time there, you will start feeling a particular way. "Wow, this feels like the South. Wait a sec..." Then you realize that they are keeping the reputation for a reason.

The other states realized what happened in Georgia. And there's even that stigma in Georgia that you just don't cross over that Cleburne-Polk County line. The rednecks on the other side of that line sweat so much it takes them only a few nameless Fudd beers for them to unannouncedly pick a fight. Mississippi is this remote state of foliage and temperate rainforest where a lot of calm, gentle black people live, and nothing goes on there either. Not worth living there, let me tell you.

Tennessee is weird because it has some areas of the trashiest human beings in the USA. They aren't exactly from the hills, and they aren't far from them. But they come up with the same AWESOME politicians like Nikki Haley or Lindsey Gayham but in their own twisted way. Tennessee is a "I'll get it!" dropped-the-soap-responder. A terrorist would actually be doing the state a favor by blowing up the likes of Knoxville, but they don't realize it, and no terrorist is stupid enough to target a strip mall town #28591284 on the list. But it's the mindset that you get out of a crook like Bob Corker.

By the way, I heard that Kansas is a great state to move to. Low property prices and very little crime in most places in the state.



Dun_Dulind's picture

Libs will blame this on socioeconomic factors and lack of diversity driving people to drink for lack of handouts and SNAP cards.

Stan Smith's picture

Stupid is as stupid does.

lucyvp's picture

Oh don't worry ... soon they will raise the tax on beer to higher than soda.

Yen Cross's picture

   This is AWESOME!!!   Capitalisms at their BEST!

    Life will find a way. Bitchez

  Just don't eat Grandma.  HT - Miffed

NoDebt's picture

Agreed, eating Grandma is still a little over the line.  But I can see the line from here.


Yen Cross's picture

     You know that cheese that has maggots, and people eat-it.  

  I met the maggot a few hours ago...

NoDebt's picture

Casu Marza?  Ayeeeee.... I haven't grown a set of balls big enough to try that yet, personally.  It's cheese that.... makes NOISE.  You can literally hear those fuckers clicking around inside the cheese.  Fucking super creepy and disgusting.  

You actually tried that stuff?  God DAMN, that's..... well..... holy shit.  You still vertical and above ground?


NoWayJose's picture

Beer instead of soda? Still not worth it to live in Philly!

fattail's picture

If all the fat people stopped drinking soda and started drinking beer, they wouldn't be fat.  Kids don't need to be drinking that colored sugar water anyways.

stecha's picture

cant wait till the maff catches up with these black leader shit heads.. Power of the panthers compells you or we will just kill you..

order66's picture

Couldn't find something worthwhile to write about? What a fucking joke.

Tallest Skil's picture

Eat shit, you fucking leftist slime. If you want a debauched, degenerate, libertine society, fuck off to somewhere with the laws (or lack thereof) which allow it. Otherwise shut the fuck up and follow the Constitution.

chrsn's picture

Russians again

SillySalesmanQuestion's picture

I propose a 90% tax on all politicians. Of course, this would only lead to more lying, cheating, pilfering, plundering and fraud committed by them, if that was actually possible...

Clock Crasher's picture

Beer, the American form of Soma.

SantaClaws's picture

Perhaps keep the tax in place for a few years and see what if any effect it has on crime, educational achievement, employment and unemployment rates, and other signs of population motivation.  Maybe signs of ordinary humanity will emerge from the rubble.  But drop the funding of employee benefits and the like.

directaction's picture

The real reason people are turning away from soft drinks is because they're unhealthy, not due to a tiny tax.

And the reason people drink alcoholic beverages because they're friggin' idiots, filthy scumbags and lame-ass losers. 

I love your wife's picture

When did all the small thinkers start reading ZH?

junkyard dog's picture

When they taught monkeys how to type with their thumbs.

NoDebt's picture

As a smoker (lower on the totem pole than pedophiles) I need to tell you, straight from my black, artery-clogged heart.... fuck you.


LOL123's picture

Deplorables love beer.... It helps us ... Ok me tolerate idiots like you. I hear Hillary is beer drinker , wine drinker, cocktail drinker, wiskey drinker..... But she not a deplorable thank god.

ThirdEye's picture

She's also a piss drinker when with piss drinkers. Even carries a jar of piss in her pocketbook.

Bernie Madolf's picture

You do realize that all those "jobs" that were created over the last 8 years were primarily just carrying beer and cocktails?

fattail's picture

Who are you the resident ZH preacher?  People drink alcohol to unwind after a hard day's of work, something you men of god won't know nothing about, in between ripping of widows and diddling the children.  People like to drown their sorrows, because the world has gone to shit since we all got sold out by the fucking policitians and central bankers, or have you not read anything else on ZH?

HRH Feant2's picture

OT: I hate to admit to watching Bloomberg but just happened to catch a guy interviewing Clinton and Bush. Bush cracked a joke about his pension being "$200,000 a year." I wanted to see how much that is a month. This falls into the "you can't make this shit up category." Monthly amount? $16,666.66.

LOL123's picture

That's a lot of coke up their noses... Those boys have some baaaaaadddd habits.

coast1's picture

I was an alcoholic before the tax...I dont see the problem here :-)

Yen Cross's picture


  Don't frack me Bro.


I was a petrodollar addict, before the SPR got drained by Boeing, to handle the NORKS.