Early revenue shortfalls from Philadelphia’s soda tax are creating a multi million dollar burden on Philly taxpayers; now City Council proposes that taxpayers fund local election campaigns at an estimated cost of 5 million annually.
PHILADELPHIA — July, 14 2017– During the last meeting of City Council for the Spring session, Councilman Derek Green proposed that taxpayers help fund local political campaigns to the tune of 5 million annually. He believes this will encourage more Philadelphians to run for office and increase voter turnout. However, faced with soda-tax revenue shortfalls, Philadelphians cannot be asked to fund additional programs–especially not those that should be privately funded.
“According to Alan Butkovitz, the shortfalls of the soda tax plan are creating a multi-million dollar burden to pay for programs and initiatives like Pre-K and Rebuild. If we don’t even have a solid plan for funding educational programs, why would we be discussing the public funding of local election campaigns? This is another clear-as-day example of the default ‘tax and spend’ solution consistently posed by Democrats when faced with nearly any problem. My question to city leaders is when will you have taxed enough? Will it be after you have driven every middle-class resident and small business out of city limits due to tax policies?” said Michael Meehan, Chairman of the Republican Party of Philadelphia.
The proposed policy places the Board of Ethics be in charge of creating and managing the program. The $5 million a year is planned to be taken from the general fund.
The Executive Director of the Board of Ethics, J. Shane Creamer Jr., said they had been working with Council and the Law Department for months to put together the program.