Wednesday, January 28, 2015

No Soda Tax Vote Today, Proposal Appears Dead

It looks like the end of the road for Mayor Nutter's proposed soda tax. Council President Anna Verna just said there will be no vote on the soda tax today.

No Soda Tax Vote Today, Proposal Appears Dead

It looks like the end of the road for Mayor Nutter's proposed soda tax. Council President Anna Verna just said there will be no vote on the soda tax today.

“Because I don’t think we have the votes to pass it,” Verna said. “So why would we keep going through the process?”

Asked if the tax vote could be revisited at a later date, Verna said: “I think right now, we have a balanced budget.”

Councilwoman Marian Tasco said it was unlikely the soda tax would come back. "For right now, for all intents and purposes, it is not on the table and I do not see it coming up again in the future," she said. 

Council is set to pass a budget today with a 9.9 percent temporary property tax hike and taxes on some tobacco products. They argue this budget provides the mayor with sufficient revenue, but Nutter has been saying he will not have enough cash to get through the year.

Nutter originally proposed a soda tax of 2 cents per ounce, billing it as a way to raise revenues and improve public health. More recently, he has been lobbying for a tax of 3/4 cent per ounce, but has been unable to get the needed 9 votes to move the legislation out of committee. 

Lobbyists for the soda industry, teamsters and local business owners have lined up in aggressive opposition to the tax. Many of those opponents crowed Council chambers today.
 

About this blog
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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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@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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