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Philly mayor: $5.7M beverage tax haul doubles projections

Opponents of a proposed sugary drink tax demonstrate outside City Hall in Philadelphia, Wednesday, June 8, 2016. Philadelphia City Council is set to consider a sugary drink tax that Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney wants to pay for universal prekindergarten, community schools and park improvements. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney says the city's sweetened-beverage tax raised $5.7 million in January, more than double what city officials had projected.

Kenney's announcement Thursday comes a day after some supermarkets and beverage distributors said they're gearing up for layoffs after seeing beverage sales fall by 30 percent to 50 percent.

Kenney's announcement says the city projected the tax, which took effect last month, would generate about $2.3 million in January.

The city has projected the tax will raise about $91 million this year and that its revenue collections would pick up steam as the year progressed.

City officials expect soda sales to rebound once customers get used to the higher prices, and they say talk of layoffs is fearmongering meant to keep other cities from imposing a similar tax.

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