In a defeat for beverage retailers and distributors, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has upheld Philadelphia's 1.5-cent per ounce tax on sweetened beverages, which was designed both to improve public health and to fund preschools, libraries and parks. Food sellers in the city say that ever since the tax went into effect in January 2017, their incomes and profits have suffered because consumers have chosen to purchase soda and other sweetened beverages outside city limits. But in a 4-2 ruling handed down on July 18, the state's highest court rejected the challenge to the tax filed by retailers and representatives of the beverage industry, finding that the levy does not violate state law by creating a form of double taxation. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, said the ruling "offers renewed hope for tens of thousands of Philadelphia children and families who struggle for better lives in the face of rampant poverty."