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Baltimore Bottle Tax Revived And Passed
June 25, 2010, 10:08 am
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Baltimore Bottle Tax Revived And Passed

Excerpt from the Baltimore Sun:

The Baltimore City Council gave its final approval Thursday to a 2-cent tax on bottled beverages, bringing to an end months of heated debate on how to close Baltimore’s largest budget gap in memory.

The 2-cent tariff, which is set to expire in three years, represents a compromise between Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who had proposed a 4-cent tax, and council members who were pressured to oppose the tax by beverage distributors and store owners.

Baltimore appears to be the only jurisdiction to pass a bottle tax this year. Similar measures were defeated in Philadelphia and Washington following an intense push by beverage lobbyists and retailers.

For the full article, CLICK HERE.

After 7 to 7 Vote, Baltimore Bottle Tax Fails
June 18, 2010, 9:31 am
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After 7 to 7 Vote, Baltimore Bottle Tax Fails

From WBAL TV (excerpts)- –

Baltimore City Council members failed to pass a controversial bottle tax during an emergency council meeting on Thursday, with the vote ending in a 7-7 tie. While the bill failed, it’s not dead yet, officials said. Supporters can try to tweak and fast-track it for Monday’s City Council meeting, but in order for it to pass, officials said it must have full support of the council.

Council President Jack Young abstained from voting because he said he has a cousin in the beverage industry.

The council members who said no to the bill were James Kraft, Nicholas D’Adamo Jr., Bill Henry, Belinda Conoway, Helen Holton, Agnes Welch and Warren Branch. Those who voted for the bill were Rochelle Spector, Sharon Green Middleton, Bob Curran, Edward Reisinger, Bill Cole, Carl Stokes and Mary Pat Clarke.

The mayor’s office told 11 News after the vote that the following services would be significantly reduced in 2011 because of the bill’s failure: graffiti removal, waterway maintenance (trash removal) and street sweeping. The office also said weekend corner trash collection, business district cleaning and the boarding and cleaning of vacant properties would all go away.

A Plea For The Bottle Tax
May 27, 2010, 1:44 pm
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A Plea For The Bottle Tax

Attached below is a letter to Baltimore City Paper requesting support for the bottle tax:

Posted 5/26/2010

I am outraged with Baltimore City and the fact that it is proposing yet another cut to animal control that is already operating on a shoestring budget (“Inhumane Budget Cuts,” Mobtown Beat, May 5). As a volunteer at the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) for the last three years, I have seen first-hand the animal abuse that continues to go on in Baltimore day in and day out. We owe it to the animals of the city to protect and take care of them, regardless of budgets, recessions, and the like. The City Council is voting on a drink tax to help close the gap for the health department, which funds BARCS. Please call your City Council member and ask them to support the drink tax. A few extra cents from you and me will fund BARCS and will help the animals in the city.

Amanda Fitzgerald

To determine who your city council person is and their contact information, CLICK HERE.