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Bloomberg Splashes Cash At Philadelphia’s Soda Tax Initiative

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Guy Bentley Research Associate, Reason Foundation
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Former Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg is throwing his support behind a Philadelphia soda tax campaign.

Bloomberg has shelled out millions of dollars to hike the cost of sugary drinks from Mexico to California, and now sees fit to pump money into the to the pro-soda tax group Philadelphians for a Fair Future (PFF), reports Philly.com.

PPF is launching an $825,000 campaign starting Thursday to support the plan of Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney to impose a three-cents-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks.

“Bringing in a New Yorker to force his personal agenda on Philadelphia families is the latest desperate act from an administration that admits it is losing in its attempts to foist this regressive tax on our city,” said Anthony Campisi, a spokesman for the Philadelphians Against the Grocery Tax Coalition, in a emailed statement Tuesday.

“The people of New York rejected and resented Mayor Bloomberg’s overreaching policies when he was mayor, and now he’s trying to export them to Philadelphia families,” Campisi added.

“A groundswell of opposition is rising up across Philadelphia as people learn the truth about this regressive tax proposal. Already, the Philadelphians Against the Grocery Tax has more than 1,000 businesses and thousands of ordinary Philadelphians as members – with more joining every day.”

PPF is joined in its soda tax crusade by the anti-obesity nonprofit the Action Now Initiative, which is funded by Texas billionaires John and Laura Arnold. The campaign has not revealed how much money Michael Bloomberg contributed.

Philly’s soda tax battle gained national prominence when Sen. Bernie Sanders lashed out at rival Hillary Clinton’s support for the tax, arguing it would hit the poor hardest. Clinton countered, claiming Sanders was on the side of major corporations against consumers. (RELATED: Bernie Sanders Is Right, Soda Taxes Hit The Poor Hardest)

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