Hillary Clinton on Wednesday came out in favor of a tax on soda that is three times larger than the one floated by Michael Bloomberg when he was mayor of New York City.
Speaking at a forum in Philadelphia, Clinton said she was “very supportive” of a proposal unveiled last month by the city’s mayor, Jim Kenney.
The Democrat is calling for a tax of three cents per ounce on soda and other sugary beverages. The additional revenue — which Kenney estimates to come in at $400 million over the next five years — will help pay for pre-kindergarten education.
Kenney’s lofty proposal is three times the amount of the tax proposed in 2010 by Bloomberg — a measure which was shot down and made the billionaire the butt of many jokes.
Berkeley, Calif. is the only other major U.S. city to enact a soda tax. That liberal enclave has a one-cent tax on sugary beverages.
Michael Nutter, who preceded Kenney and who is supporting Clinton for president, proposed a soda tax in 2011, but it failed.
President Obama briefly endorsed the idea of a national soda tax back in 2009. “It’s an idea we should be exploring,” he said at the time before retreating amid widespread criticism.
A group called Philadelphians Against Grocery Tax says that the Clinton-backed tariff would double the cost of some grocery items.
A 12-pack of 12-ounce sodas would cost an additional $4.32, nearly doubling the price of the item for consumers, according to the group, which is backed by the American Beverage Association.
A 2-liter bottle of soda, which contains roughly 68 ounces and costs around $1.50, would more than double in price. The tax would run $2.04.