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Keeping tabs on the City Council's activities so you don't have to

By Andrea Appleton | Posted 6/30/2010

On the agenda for June 24

Bill 10-0474 Beverage Container Tax

At a special Thursday meeting, the City Council finally put the long-debated "bottle tax"--and this year's painful budget process--to rest. By a vote of eight to four, with two absences and one abstention, the council passed a new compromise proposal. It will impose a 2-cent tax on bottled beverages, with the exception of milk, juice, and bulk containers. The tax was initially proposed in April by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake at 4 cents a bottle. But in the face of fierce opposition from grocers and beverage distributors, the bill was held in council for several sessions, until Councilmember Helen Holton (D-8th District), who had initially opposed the tax, proposed an amendment halving the tariff. It is expected to bring in an estimated $5.7 million dollars a year, and would sunset in three years.

The balance of the meeting was devoted to general fund budget appropriations, all of which were quickly advanced and passed by the council.

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for July 12 at 5 p.m.

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