City Council squashed Mayor Nutter’s soda tax in May, but there could be some fizz in the idea yet: Rumor has it the Mayor’s vowed to revisit the idea to combat the city’s still-staggering budget gap. “My guess,” says one city insider, “is that the administration probably knows now that they made mistakes in how it was presented — a revenue grab masked as a public health initiative — and the Mayor’s learned lessons.” On his side: Baltimore, which in June passed a similarly controversial two-cent tax on bottled drinks. Nutter’s office neither affirms nor denies the speculation, saying it’s “far too early to comment on what may or may not be included” in 2011-’12 budget talks, but one thing’s clear: Any second run at the tax will have to look a lot different from the first to keep Council, which fretted over everything from legality to ethics to the bubbling opposition of unions and lobbyists, from obliterating Nutter’s sweet dreams.
Pulse: Chatter: The Soda Tax Returns
No sweet surrender.
Originally published in Philadelphia Magazine, October 2010