Philadelphia Mayor threatens layoffs if no tax hikes

    City Council decides not to vote on proposed Soda Tax

    Philadelphia City Council has decided not to take a vote on the mayor’s proposed soda tax. [audio:100520TMBUDGET.mp3]

    Just before City Council was supposed to meet on the tax, Mayor Michael Nutter sent a letter saying if the tax or a 12 percent real estate tax hike aren’t passed he will have to cut city workers. Councilman Bill Green says the mayor has enough money without the soda tax.

    “I think the best way to describe the mayor’s actions this morning,” says Green, “are like those of a petulant little child.”

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    Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez says the city can make the budget work without layoffs.

    “There’s a way that he can manage a $3.6 billion budget less $14 million,” says  Quiñones-Sánchez. “It can be done, that’s why he got elected mayor.”

    The mayor’s spokesman Doug Oliver says the budget can’t be balanced without worker cuts.

    “Our best estimation is that it would be over 300 positions,” says Oliver, “which is a combination of both filled positions and unfilled positions.”

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