Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Nutter Puts Pressure on Council To Pass Soda Tax

Mayor Nutter this morning sent a letter to Council saying that if they don't pass a soda tax or increase the temporary property tax hike, that he will have to eliminate more than 300 city jobs.

Nutter Puts Pressure on Council To Pass Soda Tax

Mayor Nutter this morning sent a letter to Council saying that if they don't pass a soda tax or increase the temporary property tax hike, that he will have to eliminate more than 300 city jobs.

"We have tried hard to avoid making cuts that would have any further impact on service, but without additional revenue, we will have little choice," Nutter said in the letter, which says he will have to cut $20 million and lists police and fire amog the departments that would be affected.

Council members questioned Nutter's reasoning, noting that the budget they have tentatively passed so far -- which includes a 9.9 percent property tax hike -- will include surplus funds of $42 million.

"To turn around and say he's going to lay off 340 people seems to be a bit punative when he didn't get a soda tax," said Councilman Jim Kenney.

Council has been meeting behind closed doors this morning on the budget. At times there have been more than 9 members behind closed doors -- in an apparant violation of the state Sunshine Act -- and staffers have refused to answer questions.

Nutter has been pushing for a soda tax of 3/4 cent per ounce, which would raise about $30 million annually, but just $14 million in the coming budget year.

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
 Follow Chris on Twitter

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
 Follow Jenny on Twitter.

Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
 Follow Sean on Twitter

PhillyClout Team
Also on Philly.com
Stay Connected