We're now nearly two years into taxing sugar-sweetened beverages. The current data on individual household purchases shows that these taxes are slimming wallets more than waistlines. And of the four cities considered, only Philadelphia showed a persistent decline in consumption, reaping all the "benefit."
It was about two years ago that this northeastern city imposed a tax on sugary beverages to raise revenue and hopefully help improve the health of its residents. Of course, in terms of health, there have been no reports as to whether it made a difference. But there were some surprises, at least for the policymakers.
Sugary beverage taxes are designed to improve health. Yet, despite their increasing popularity with city government, there's no actual evidence of a health benefit. (That is, unless you call increased tax revenue a measure of health.)