Do Something

Get more polls. Contact City Council.

Interested in A Greater Philadelphia’s mission? Get updated on events and sign up for their newsletter on their website. You can also follow them on Twitter. 

See for yourself where the soda tax is being spent.

Here you can find the schedule for Philadelphia City Council meetings as well as instructions on how to sign up to speak. You can watch them live here and view the agenda here.


Cheat Sheet

View soda tax poll results.

The nonprofit organization A Greater Philadelphia conducted a poll in February of 800 Philly Democrats to focus their efforts toward higher expectations, more effective leadership, and better governance on the issues that matter most.

After five years, the soda tax is still dividing voters along many demographic lines. 


48% of respondents oppose the soda tax

44% of respondents support the soda tax

For households earning $40,000 or less, 57% oppose the tax

Households earning over $100,000, 56% support the tax

For those who hold a high school diploma or less, 66% oppose the tax, while for those who have completed a college or graduate degree, 54% support the tax

Black residents oppose the soda tax more so than White, Asian, or Hispanic residents at 54%,

Versus 51% of Hispanic people and 52% of White or Asian respondents. 

Women oppose the soda tax at a higher rate than men, with 49% opposed.

How Philly Sees Philly: The Soda Tax is Still Controversial

The latest data from A Greater Philadelphia unpacks how local Dems view Mayor Kenney’s self-proclaimed biggest accomplishment

How Philly Sees Philly: The Soda Tax is Still Controversial

The latest data from A Greater Philadelphia unpacks how local Dems view Mayor Kenney’s self-proclaimed biggest accomplishment

The fight over Philadelphia’s tax on sugary beverages did not end in 2017, when City Council overwhelmingly passed the tax ordinance. If anything, it’s an issue that represents a real divide in Philadelphians of different backgrounds and neighborhoods.

The latest data from A Greater Philadelphia’s February poll of Democratic Philadelphia residents found that nearly half oppose the soda tax—primarily those in North, Northeast and West Philly, who are less educated, earn less than $40,000 and are African American.

This is the latest data analysis from a survey conducted in February by nationally recognized pollsters McLaughlin & Associates and Frederick Polls, as part of civic nonprofit A Greater Philadelphia’s fact-finding mission to inform their goal of building a citywide movement in support of higher expectations, more effective leadership and better governance.

The Citizen is partnering with A Greater Philadelphia to publish the results of the poll. See the first three analyses, about public safety and City Council, here and another on school choice here.

Soda tax poll analysis and results from A Greater Philadelphia

Philadelphia became the largest city in the United States to implement a tax on soda and other sweetened beverages in 2017. Although City Council voted 13-4 in favor, polls conducted in 2016 showed varying levels of voter support. This latest poll shows support varies significantly depending on voters’ income and education levels.

The tax generated $70 million for the City in fiscal 2021, or about 1.25% of the municipal budget. About half of that revenue was allocated to fund the City’s pre-K initiative; most of the rest was spread across the general fund (according to the Controller’s Office).

Voters in the North, Northeast and West regions of Philadelphia strongly oppose the tax, Voters in the more affluent Northwest, South and Center City areas are more likely to support it. Opposition is strongest among voters with a high school diploma or less education, with nearly three to one in that group opposing the tax. Voters whose households earn less than $40,000 per year also registered
strong opposition, by a margin of 57% to 35%, as did Black respondents, 54% to 38%.

Q. Do you support the soda tax as a way to reduce obesity, reduce sugar-related health problems and generate money for pre-K education, or do you oppose the tax because it hits poorer people hardest and hurts the city’s economy as residents buy groceries outside the city to avoid the tax?

Somewhat curiously, women are more likely to oppose the soda tax than men.


Tax Addiction

A Business Community Call to Arms

The Tax That Ate Philadelphia

Guest Commentary: Philly’s Pay to Sway Culture


Header photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

The Philadelphia Citizen will only publish thoughtful, civil comments. If your post is offensive, not only will we not publish it, we'll laugh at you while hitting delete.

Be a Citizen Editor

Suggest a Story

Advertising Terms

We do not accept political ads, issue advocacy ads, ads containing expletives, ads featuring photos of children without documented right of use, ads paid for by PACs, and other content deemed to be partisan or misaligned with our mission. The Philadelphia Citizen is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan organization and all affiliate content will be nonpartisan in nature. Advertisements are approved fully at The Citizen's discretion. Advertisements and sponsorships have different tax-deductible eligibility. For questions or clarification on these conditions, please contact Director of Sales & Philanthropy Kristin Long at [email protected] or call (609)-602-0145.