The vote was 13-4.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney was a major proponent of the tax, telling City Council that it would bring in an estimated $90 million in new tax revenues next year to be used for pre-k education, community schools and recreation centers.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney released the following statement on the passage of the tax:
“Thanks to the tireless advocacy of educators, parents, rec center volunteers and so many others, Philadelphia made a historic investment in our neighborhoods and in our education system today. I commend City Council for working with these community leaders to make quality, affordable pre-K, community schools and systemic improvements to parks, rec centers and libraries a reality. I also thank my colleagues in Council for working with our administration to craft a shared agenda that will improve the education, health and prosperity of children and families all across our city for years to come. Today would not have been possible without everyone coming together in support of a fair future for every zipcode.”
During the meeting, Chris Hunter, a proponent against the tax and employee of Coca-Cola stated, “if this tax is passed, Philadelphia would create the worst black market for non-alcoholic beverages since prohibition, which was back in the 1920s and 30s. Let’s not go back in history.”
Dr. Ken Margulies, who served as President of the Board of the American Heart Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania was in attendance, thanking Philadelphia.
“As Philadelphia has done time and again, you are acting boldly to deal with very real concerns and needs of Philadelphians and our country as a whole. Thank you on behalf of the American Heart Association, the Philadelphia medical community, and the broader medical establishment,” Dr. Marguiles said.