Philadelphia, PA – The city’s controversial 1.5-cent-per ounce sugar-sweetened soda tax on beverage distributors was upheld on Wednesday by a Pennsylvania appeals court.

The American Beverage Association, Philadelphia residents and business owners had filed suit last fall challenging the tax, saying it represented illegal double taxation. The tax was put in place to fund universal pre-K and other community projects.

The tax was upheld by the Commonwealth Court in a 5-2 ruling. Shanin Specter, an attorney for the appellants, said they will appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court.

“We are deeply disappointed in today’s ruling,” Anthony Campisi, a spokesman for the Ax the Beverage Tax campaign, told Ax the Beverage Tax is supported by the American Beverage Association.