BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Another Baltimore City tax increase. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake wants to raise the city’s two-cent bottle tax to five cents a bottle.

Political Reporter Pat Warren has the reason for the proposal.

Since 2010, consumers and the beverage industry have been putting their two cents in. That’s when the bottle tax took effect. Now the mayor wants to raise it to a nickel’s worth on every bottle sold to pay for school construction.

“And we’re going to make sure we use this money to make sure the facilities match the greatness of the kids that are there,” Rawlings-Blake said.

But a spokesman for local retailers tells WJZ that at five cents a bottle, he thinks the mayor’s concern for Baltimore businesses isn’t worth a plug nickel.

“It’s a total disrespect by our mayor, and in my opinion, it is an abuse of power,” Rob Santoni, owner of Santoni’s Supermarket, said.

Just four weeks ago, a council committee considered repealing the two-cent tax. The mayor wants to quash any repeal, and more than double what the beverage industry has already claimed as a hardship.

“The beverage association doesn’t like it but they’re not responsible for building schools,” Rawlings-Blake said. “We are.”

Consumers also have an opinion.

“I am totally against it,” said one consumer.

“We’re charged enough taxes as it is,” said another.

But the proposal will move forward.

The tax hike requires City Council approval. The mayor’s plan will be presented to City Council on Monday.

Comments (8)
  1. Mike Kalash says:

    The city residents voted her in. They got what they voted for. I would live in a tent before I lived in the city.

  2. david says:

    nobody listen to moleman he is actually that guy “sheriff” he has no tax dollars how can he he has no job

  3. JW says:

    LOL…Lesss than a week after being voted in she raise taxes.

    Ye reap what Ye sow.

  4. Bobby McCray says:

    How can “Raise Taxes” on bottles of beverages, for say “To build new schools” when just 2 years ago she closed 3 city schools!!! I have a 1st grader that attends a city school and they barely had A/C in 100 degree heat!!! why build more if she can’t take care of the schools she has!!!

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