Nutter lobbies for sales tax increase, but passage is not certain

Mayor Nutter is lobbying hard for sales tax increase

Still, a Daily News straw poll of the city's Harrisburg delegation shows that many local members are wavering on the sales-tax increase. We reached out to the 33 Philly members of the state House of Representatives and state Senate with this question:

If a vote were held today on Philadelphia's temporary sales-tax increase, would you be a yes, no or undecided?

A total of 18 responded - 7 said yes, 2 no and 7 were undecided. State Sen. Vincent Hughes said that he was "leaning yes" and state Rep. Kenyatta Johnson declined to comment.

Those in favor largely said that they would vote yes because the alternative was so much worse.

"The mayor says he needs it," said Rep. Ronald G. Waters. "If we don't do it, I'm afraid of what that means."

Rep. Mike O'Brien, who is opposed, said that he'd prefer to see the city use gaming revenues to plug the budget gap. Though the city has said that this isn't an option, O'Brien said that he wasn't convinced.

And the undecideds said that they are still mulling over the options - stressing that this is a complicated time in Harrisburg.

"I think it would depend on what the overall situation is in terms of our budget," said Rep. John Taylor, who added that he wasn't sure that the proposal to raise the sales tax had the votes. "Right now, if it came up today, it probably wouldn't be passed."