The Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld Philadelphia’s soda tax today. The appeal had centered on whether the city council exceeded statutory limitations on its powers with the sweetened-beverage tax.
“[T]he Sterling Act conferred upon the City of Philadelphia a broad taxing power subject to preemption, while clarifying that ‘any and all subjects’ are available for local taxation which the Commonwealth could, but does not presently, tax,” wrote Chief Justice Thomas G. Saylor for the 4-2 majority.
Richard J. Lechette (TU Law 2018) argued in Volume 90, Issue 1 that, alternatively, the tax violates the Uniformity Clause of the Pennsylvania Constitution. His article can be read here.