Council Gives Preliminary Approval to Property Tax Hike for Schools

Soda mogul Harold Honickman was all smiles before the start of City Council's regular session on Thursday. (Alejandro A. Alvarez / Staff Photographer)

In a major policy reversal, City Council tonight opted to raise property taxes for a second year in a row to help bailout the cash-poor school district, rejecting Mayor Nutter’s preferred soda tax proposal.

Voting 11-6 in favor, Council approved a plan that would raise property taxes for one year by 3.5 percent, providing $37 million to the district. They also expect to dip into the city’s surplus fund balance and raise parking meter fees, bringing the total aid for schools to $53 million.

The deal marked a major political defeat for Nutter, who put all his chips on the line for a second year in the row to try and pass a sugary drinks tax.