- The Washington Times - Friday, January 6, 2017

Iconic Philadelphia cheesesteak vendor Pat’s King of Steaks has a new sign telling patrons to blame the city’s political leadership for the hike in soda prices due to the city’s new soda surtax.

“You can thank the Honorable Jim Kenney and the wisdom of city council for the increased soda prices,” reads the sign, captioned by Pat’s on its Instagram, Facebook and Twitter postings with the words, “#LMAO #SodaTax.”

Other area businesses are also informing consumers of the price tag of Philly’s new soda sin tax. ShopRite stores have placed tags in soda aisles listing the soda-tax amount you can expect to pay at the register. The grocery chain has also listed the soda tax as a separate line item on customers’ receipts.

“Customers are appreciative of us showing the price increases and the impact of the tax,” ShopRite vice president Karen Meleta told Philadelphia magazine in an interview published Friday. “They’re using photos of our receipts to show how significant the tax is. And this transparency, this was our goal.

“As a brand, we are committed to offering value, and to raise the price without explanation would be wrong,” she said. “In some cases, the tax exceeds the cost of the product itself.”

The city’s 1½-cent-per-ounce tax applies not only to traditional sugary soda but diet-soda alternatives as well. It went into effect on Jan. 1 and the revenue raised is to fund a city pre-kindergarten program.

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