As reported in the Baltimore Sun, the City Council gave preliminary approval to a 2 cent bottle tax at its meeting on June 21 after Council President Holton reversed her opposition to the tax. The Council will take a final vote on the proposal on Thursday, June 24.
The proceeds of the tax — estimated to be around $5.7 million — will prevent layoffs of 47 workers and fund street cleaning, graffiti removal and the maintenance of trash-skimming nets in the Inner Harbor, said Ryan O’Doherty, a spokesman for Rawlings-Blake.
The bottle tax represented the centerpiece of a $50 million package of taxes and fees proposed by Rawlings-Blake to help plug a $121 million hole in the city’s $2.2 billion budget. The tax met with strong opposition from retailers and beverage lobbyists, who had quashed similar measures in Philadelphia and Washington this year.