Week Two of Soda Tax Debate In Council

Battle lines are being drawn up here in Council today, as the body is set to reconvene to give final approval to a budget plan – and possibly revisit Mayor Nutter’s soda tax proposal.

Nutter – who originally pitched a 2 cents per ounce tax in his budget – has been lobbying for a tax of ½ or ¾ cent per ounce in recent weeks. But last week he did not achieve the 9 votes he needed to move the legislation out of committee.

Today Council may try again, although it is unclear if the votes are there this week either.  Crowds are filling up in chambers. Opponents of the tax – business owners, teamsters and soda manufacturers – are here with 30,000 signatures against the bill. Members of the city’s blue collar union AFSCME District Council 33 are here in favor of the tax, which they say will preserve city jobs.

And white collar AFSMCE District Council 47 is here, on a different mission.

“I’m here to advocate for raising the real estate tax,” said DC 47 President Cathy Scott. “We think DiCicco’s 12.2 percent (proposal) is appropriate.”