Sunday, July 5, 2015

Councilman Suggests a Higher Property Tax Bump, Soda Lobby May Offer Cash To City

A Council hearing on the tax proposals to balance the budget has kicked off and Councilman Frank DiCicco seems to be making a play to revive his proposal to hike the property tax by 12 percent.

Councilman Suggests a Higher Property Tax Bump, Soda Lobby May Offer Cash To City

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A Council hearing on the tax proposals to balance the budget has kicked off and Councilman Frank DiCicco seems to be making a play to revive his proposal to hike the property tax by 12 percent.

DiCicco previously introduced legislation for such a hike – which would raise $107 annually – but pulled it two weeks ago, citing lack of Council support. Instead Council is now considering a property tax hike at around 9.9 percent.

But today, DiCicco questioned Finance Director Rob Dubow on whether the city would get closer to solving the budget gap with a 12 percent hike.

DiCicco said that a single 12 percent hike would basically take care of the city's budget problems, and would replace the need for a series of smaller taxes. "It's the responsible thing to do," he said.

In addition, DiCicco said an offer was brewing from members of the soda industry to provide $10 million over two years to the city for health and wellness programs. He said those funds -- which would be provided if the proposed soda tax goes away -- could also help bridge the gap.

Edward J. Hazzouri, a lobbyist for the American Beverage Association, said members of the beverage association were considering providing funds through the Pew Charitable Trusts to fund various health efforts.

Nutter originally proposed a local soda tax of 2 cents per ounce, but recently has proposed the tax at 1/2 cent per ounce or 3/4 cent per ounce. He has argued that the tax would provide health benefits and revenue for the city.

 

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William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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