Sunday, May 24, 2015

Shots for schools?

Need another reason to drink? How about improving the futures of Philadelphia's kids?

Shots for schools?

A shot of whiskey (via JackDaniels.com)
A shot of whiskey (via JackDaniels.com)

Need another reason to drink? How about improving the futures of Philadelphia's kids?

Mayor Nutter and City Council are rarely on the same page these days, but a proposal to increase the “liquor by the drink” tax to help fund the School District’s $60 million request seems to be gaining traction on both sides.

City Council President Darrell Clarke has mentioned the possibility of raising the tax, which now adds 10 percent to your bar bill, in recent budget hearings. Nutter indicated Thursday that it's a proposal his administration is considering. 

The mayor voted in favor of creating the tax as a freshman councilman in 1994.

"Council President Clarke and I have talked about that, and I am certainly interested in that kind of proposal but my track record on that one is pretty clear," Nutter said. "That [1994 vote] was a tough vote for a lot of folks but I thought it was the right thing to do then and it’s certainly something that we should explore now.”

The possibility of increasing the tax by 50 percent (to 15 percent per drink) has been floated. The tax brings in more than $45 million per year for the School District. So increasing it by half would not be enough to be the silver bullet martini shaker for funding the schools' request.

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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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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