Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has proposed to boost funding for public school construction through a 3-cent increase on the city’s bottle tax. The Baltimore Sun reports that by increasing the tax to 5-cents, Baltimore would be able to raise their annual contribution to $40 million for school renovation and construction projects, allowing the city to sell bonds to pay for the $2.8 billion improvements needed.
The bottle tax would need the approval of the City Council to be imposed, and will likely face stiff opposition from the beverage industry. The council passed a 2 cent tax in 2010, over protests from industry groups.
That tax has brought in less revenue than officials had initially anticipated, for a total of about $4 million annually.
Administration sources say Rawlings-Blake will pledge to use all of the proceeds of the 5 cent tax for school construction, as long as she remains in office.