No Soda Tax Vote Today, Proposal Appears Dead

It looks like the end of the road for Mayor Nutter's proposed soda tax. Council President Anna Verna just said there will be no vote on the soda tax today.

“Because I don’t think we have the votes to pass it,” Verna said. “So why would we keep going through the process?”

Asked if the tax vote could be revisited at a later date, Verna said: “I think right now, we have a balanced budget.”

Councilwoman Marian Tasco said it was unlikely the soda tax would come back. "For right now, for all intents and purposes, it is not on the table and I do not see it coming up again in the future," she said. 

Council is set to pass a budget today with a 9.9 percent temporary property tax hike and taxes on some tobacco products. They argue this budget provides the mayor with sufficient revenue, but Nutter has been saying he will not have enough cash to get through the year.

Nutter originally proposed a soda tax of 2 cents per ounce, billing it as a way to raise revenues and improve public health. More recently, he has been lobbying for a tax of 3/4 cent per ounce, but has been unable to get the needed 9 votes to move the legislation out of committee. 

Lobbyists for the soda industry, teamsters and local business owners have lined up in aggressive opposition to the tax. Many of those opponents crowed Council chambers today.