Saturday, August 1, 2015

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

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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.

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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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