Boots & Sabers

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2106, 02 Jan 17

Philadelphia’s New Sweetener Tax

Advice to folks in Philly… put a drop of booze in every drink to evade the tax.

What is taxed

The tax is not just on sodas. This tax is on any non-alcoholic beverage, syrup, or other concentrate used to prepare a beverage that lists as an ingredient any form of caloric sugar-based sweetener, including, but not limited to sucrose, glucose, or high fructose corn syrup.

Drinks considered “diet” or “zero calorie” are also taxed. Specifically, this tax is on any non-alcoholic beverage, syrup or other concentrate used to prepare a beverage that lists any form of artificial sugar substitute, including stevia, aspartame, sucralose, neotame, acesulfame potassium (Ace-K), saccharin, and advantame.

Examples of sweetened beverages

Soda (regular and diet); non-100%-fruit drinks; sports drinks; sweetened water; energy drinks; pre-sweetened coffee or tea; and non-alcoholic beverages intended to be mixed into an alcoholic drink.


2106, 02 January 2017


  1. Kevin Scheunemann

    Oh liberals, smoking and consuming pot is just dandy, men who feel like women in the female bathroom is just dandy, killing unborn babies is just another day at the office, but sugar…why that is satan incarnate… we have to tax that for your own good!

    I’ll never get the insanity and incongruency of liberalism.

  2. penquin

    “Oh liberals, smoking and consuming pot is just dandy”

    That’s a common false conception – It was liberals who pushed the state-wide smoking ban in WI and it was then-President Clinton who expanded the Federal Death Penalty to include marijuana growers. In fact, the War on Drugs is one of the few things that both the Republican and Democratic party agree on.

    What is your stance on cannabis laws? Personally, I don’t think a person should be punished for enjoying a gift from the Lord…what say you?


  3. Kevin Scheunemann


    I just don’t get the liberal mindset. Is sugar a bigger evil than pot these days, why?

    Shouldn’t it be a right to have sugar with your pot?

  4. penquin

    You’ll have to ask an actual liberal for some insight about their mindset, but am happy to share mine. (Speaking of sharing insights, I sincere wanna learn more about yours…hence my question about your stance on cannabis laws. Why did you avoid it?)

    Ain’t exactly sure what you mean by “evil” in this case, but health-wise there is no comparison what-so-ever. Sugar is far-far more deadlier&dangerous than ganja is…it ain’t even close. (Unless you count the people who are shot by the police for having pot, of course….but that’s a result of marijuana laws rather than the marijuana itself).

    All that said, to answer your question: I do beleive that an adult has a right to enjoy a dilly bar as well as right to smoke a bong…but am a tad confused as to why you are framing it as a “rights” issue. Do you beleive that the mere presence of a tax means that a right is lost? Please clarify…thanks.

  5. Kevin Scheunemann

    Pot is easy to tax.

    This sweetner tax is complex, both for merchant, and government. That is an onerous imposition.

    I oppose vague taxation like this one. Invariably and argument over what amount of high fructose corn syrup and what stage of production triggers tax.

    For me, my only solution would br to tax everything in restaurant…to be safe.

    That is an impossible position for small business owner….at complete mercy of greedy liberal politicians.

    So yes, big rights issue!

  6. penquin

    Pot isn’t easy to tax at all, ’cause it is illegal. Do you support re-legalizing marijuana or not? Your refusal to directly address this subject is extremely frustrating, and certainly isn’t very “civil” of you*.


    The proposed tax on sugar products isn’t vague at all – if you sell “X” you pay “Y” in tax. I’m kinda confused what you find confusing about that.

    I’m also confused about your claim that if sugar is taxed but other things aren’t then that means people have lost the right to ingest sugar. Since not everything is currently covered by a sales tax, does that mean you beleive our sales tax takes away the right of people to do business? That doesn’t make sense to me at all, but it does seem to be what you’re saying…please clarify. Thanks.



    *for the record, that is said with a smile&wink and not an angry frown



  7. jjf

    I don’t see Kevin screaming about all the subsidies for the price of milk, sugar, and high-fructose corn syrup.

  8. Kevin Scheunemann


    I don’t have a problem eliminating Dept of agriculture.

    However, it might be easier to eliminate national parks given how many feed at the agriculture dept slophouse.

    Trump might have a shot, but I’d say only adter re-election.

  9. Le Roi du Nord

    You are truly clueless.  Your DQ mix costs you less because of the Dept of Ag.  Or are you dairy free there?

  10. Kevin Scheunemann


    You are clueless one. Because of my proximity to Western WI, the pricing formula anchor, I pay much more for DQ mix per gallon than franchisees in AZ.

    Dept. Of agriculture punishes me because I live in WI.

    So get educated before you criticize my free market position.

  11. Le Roi du Nord

    If you look at the big picture, that isn’t the way it works.


    I feel sorry for you, who doesn’t know what you don’t know.

  12. Kevin Scheunemann


    Well, we can take your inexperienced word for it….someone who has not worked a day in the industry as an end user.

    Or you can take the word of someone who makes sourcing decisions for our DQ mix plants across the nation for our DQ CO-OP for last 15 years as a director.

    You may even contact our WI mix plant owner for DQ and he will explain the food chain when it comes to milk pricing…..but you are not transparent about who you are, so I cannot get you the contact info.

  13. Le Roi du Nord


    Look big picture and long-term.  Dairy price supports have a purpose far beyond the price of DQ mix.  What has been the variation in DQ mix prices in the last 6-8 years; the high and low based on a volume, say $/gal.  Compare that to the swings in fluid milk prices paid to the farmer over the same time, say $/CW.  I’ll bet you your variation as a % was far less than the raw milk price swings.  Is your price for a dilly bar less today than in say 2011?

    I didn’t contact your plant, but I did talk to friends and family in the production and policy end of the dairy business.

  14. Kevin Scheunemann


    “Price support” drives my price up. Especially in Midwest.

    Why would an end consumer support Dept of agriculture policy?

    You were the one incredulous at me, claiming I got subsidy….how this turned on you in a hurry…again.

  15. Le Roi du Nord

    Nope, never said you got a subsidy.  And nope, if you look BIG PICTURE, LONG-TERM price supports keep keep the cost to the processor lower.  If your price for mix has gone up in the last 5 years don’t blame supports, blame the middle man.

    I know these are always a puzzle to you, but here goes. Fact:  The price of fluid milk had a 43% drop ($25.70/CW to $14.50/CW) in the past 5 years, and is now just creeping up.  I hope that big drop was reflected in your prices.

  16. Kevin Scheunemann


    Look above…you said my DQ mix costs me less because of Dept of Agriculture…if that is not implying subsidy, what are you implying ?

    $25.70 was a huge all time high and I had record prices…thanks to Dept of agriculture. Price supports destroyed the market way before that high.

  17. Le Roi du Nord

    As always, clueless, and unwilling to get a clue.

    Did you drop prices when your price went down?  Gouging the Dilly bar fans?

  18. Kevin Scheunemann


    My dilly bar price has been same for 10 years!

    I absorbed the government inflicted policy price pain.

    Instead of a “thank you”, I get nonsense from liberals like yourself for opposing hurtful Dept of Ag policy.

    Continue advocating hurtful policies…it is what you do best.

  19. Le Roi du Nord

    So you were gouging folks when the price of milk dropped over 40% ??  Or was DQ gouging you ?

  20. Kevin Scheunemann


    Milk price is still higher than it was 10 years ago.   Dilly price has been same for 10 years. So what “gouging” would you be referring to?


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