Soda tax and trash fees could pull city out of financial bind
Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010
Philadelphia City Council members have learned something that the city’s citizens won’t find out until Thursday. Mayor Michael Nutter is reportedly planning to propose taxing soda and charging citizens for trash collection to help close a budget gap projected at $500 million to $700 million over the next five years.
City Councilman Bill Green says he’s open to a sugary drinks tax. On the other much talked about levy, Green says if the city implements a trash fee, low income and elderly citizens need to be protected. Green said it’s clear the city’s is in financial trouble.
Green: All the decisions aren’t in with respect to the three remaining unions that still don’t have contracts. So it could be far worse than $500 to $700 million we’re looking at over the 5-year plan. We have to do one of two things: significantly cut services to citizens or come up with ways to pay for them that cost the least amount of pain . Frankly I think we have to look at both.
Mayor Nutter floated the idea of a trash collection fee last year, but withdrew it after angry reactions from taxpayers. The mayor will deliver in his budget address Thursday.