Ferget That Sodie Pop. More Property Taxes!

By Randy LoBasso
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 3 | Posted Mar. 18, 2010

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Looks like Nutter's going all beach chair on the Healthy Philadelphia Initiative (soda tax) and the Keep Philly Clean Fee (trash fee) – but he still needs to scrounge up $150 million by May 30.

City Council was a madhouse yesterday as union bottling employees and others cheered on dissenting Council members who criticized Nutter’s biggest budget controversies. Huddling in the back but making their presence known, workers held signs reading “Soda Tax=Lost Jobs” and “Philly Jobs Not Taxes,” the latter of which could be downloaded from SavePhillyJobs.com, an organization with more than 800 Facebook friends.

Councilman Bill Greenlee was quoted by the Daily News as saying: “Tastykakes, cheese steaks…There are lots of products that contribute to obesity…Why target one particular industry?”

Council President Anna Verna and Councilmen Jack Kelly and Frank Rizzo Jr. also had problems with the tax. Fox 29 quoted Democratic whip Darrell Clark: “I’m just not seeing the support for it, to the tune of nine votes, which is required to pass it.”

The trash fee – which many have criticized because, um, we already pay for trash collection with our taxes – was basically dead on arrival.

Problem is, the city still needs the money and likely won’t cut their own staff or number of legislators at any point in the near future. So what’s left?

Property taxes. Frank DiCicco plans on introducing his idea of a 12% increase next Thursday, which City Budget Director Stephen J. Agostini said would raise the $107 million the city was looking to get from putting a second price tag on city garbage.

Last year, Nutter’s property tax increase proposal of 19% was shot down by City Council and, according to a Pew poll, opposed by 86% of city residents. However, spokesman Doug Oliver seems to suggest the mayor is flirting with DiCicco’s idea: “The administration is willing to consider proposals that come from Councilman DiCicco, but from other Council members as well. We have outlined what we think is the best of tough choices, but again, we're not married to our position.”

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1. alexphil said... on Mar 18, 2010 at 01:29PM

“Why not pass emergency 5-10% wage cut for ALL city workers AND elected officials? Many COs. have cut wages in that range.”

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2. Anonymous said... on Mar 18, 2010 at 02:08PM

“Wage cuts for City employees is an excellent idea. Most Philadelphians have seen their hourly wages, benefits and/or hours cut because of the recession. Why not City employees.”

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3. Anonymous said... on Mar 19, 2010 at 07:11PM

“I think Greenlee is right, why target one industry in particular? Tax all of them!!! That way we could lower the proposed soda tax so that the tax wouldn't be as likely to discourage people from buying soda and the city would still collect plenty of money”

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