Council Debates Killing Soda Tax Legislation

The budget debate is getting hairy up in Council today.

Council this morning debated a call from Councilman Brian O’Neill to discharge the proposed soda tax legislation.

O’Neill said he wanted Council to formally withdraw the bill – introduced by Councilwoman Marian Tasco on behalf of the Nutter administration – because he said there was no support for the measure and Council should move forward with other budget options.

“This budget has been going no where, maybe this is a way to start moving it,” O’Neill said.

But the other Council members were not supportive of O’Neill’s move. While few said they backed the soda tax, many said it was too early to take the option off the table.

Councilman Jim Kenney also warned that without some tax increases, the city would be forced to make deep cuts.

“The alternative to no revenue is layoffs,” Kenney said. “Don’t profess your support for certain departments in this city, if you’re willing to allow them to lose their jobs.”

O'Neill halted the soda proposal when he heard his colleagues wanted to keep it on the table.