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Pennsylvania's High Court To Hear Appeal Of Philly Beverage Tax

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has decided it will hear the soda industry's appeal of Philadelphia's beverage tax.

Both Common Pleas and Commonwealth Court have already rejected the industry's arguments against the one-and-a-half-cent an ounce tax on sweetened beverages, but the state high court agreed to hear an appeal on just one of the issues the industry has raised--whether it duplicates a tax already levied by the state.

Mayor Kenney says he welcomes the court's review.

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The city has been awaiting its decision before spending the $78 million that the tax raised last year.

"We wish the supreme court had taken it a little earlier so we could have gotten through this and continued our programs but we expected them to take it and we're confident in our legal position," he said.

The money is earmarked for pre-K, community schools and a rebuild of city facilities.

The industry's attorney emailed a statement saying they're heartened by the court's review as governments, businesses and consumers across the state will benefit.

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