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Container Tax

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NEWS
June 7, 1995
Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke has hinted that he will veto City Council legislation ending Baltimore's beverage container tax. If he does, come Independence Day -- when Montgomery County ends its levy -- Baltimore will become the only government in Maryland still collecting a tax on nonrecyclable bottles and cans. That shouldn't happen. But it might if the mayor can't find a way to offset the immediate impact of the loss of that revenue.Currently, any time you buy a beverage other than juice or milk in Baltimore you pay an extra tax of 2 cents on any bottle or can 16 ounces or less and 4 cents on any container more than 16 ounces.
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NEWS
November 19, 2012
Two years ago, just after Gov. Martin O'Malley won his second term, Maryland's Spending Affordability Committee got a sobering briefing from state fiscal analysts. Thanks to federal stimulus funds, Maryland had been scraping by despite the deepest recession in decades, the collapse of the housing market, and a disappointingly slow start to the state's slots program. But that money was about to run out. The next budget year promised a $1.6 billion shortfall, and things were only expected to get worse from there.
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NEWS
By JoAnna Daemmrich and JoAnna Daemmrich,Sun Staff Writer | May 15, 1995
Amid complaints that Baltimore residents increasingly are buying their soda and beer in the suburbs, the City Council is trying anew to phase out the beverage container tax.Baltimore would lower its tax on disposable cans and bottles at the beginning of next year and repeal it by the summer of 1997 under a measure up for final adoption by the council tonight.Many retailers, beverage distributors and bottlers in the city have complained that they are losing business to suburban competitors because of the tax, which exempts only milk and juice products.
NEWS
October 21, 2012
As an owner of a retail food establishment, I am stunned at the mismanagement and lack of financial controls in the Baltimore City school system. If I ran my business that way I would be out of business. If the city kept an eye on its finances, there would not have been a need for the container tax that has hit small businesses and city residents with a 150 percent tax increase on beverages sold in containers. Now the city is looking at the state for even more money, yet it is the one that has mismanaged its books.
NEWS
May 11, 1995
The Baltimore City Council is expected to give final approval Monday to legislation that would in two years phase out the city's bottle and can tax. Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke should let that happen.As an incentive to home ownership in the city, Mr. Schmoke has decreased Baltimore's property tax by a nickel per $100 of assessed value three times since 1989. His Strategic Financial Plan calls for four more nickel decreases from 1997 through the year 2000. But if the mayor's interest is in rewarding people who make Baltimore their home, he should agree to lift this tax that penalizes people who live and shop in the city.
NEWS
By Robert Guy Matthews and Robert Guy Matthews,SUN STAFF | April 23, 1996
A liquor store owner who spearheaded the fight to repeal the container tax reacted angrily yesterday after City Councilwoman Sheila Dixon introduced a bill that would reinstitute the levy that the council voted to phase out last year."
NEWS
By Patrick Gilbert and Patrick Gilbert,Evening Sun Staff | November 13, 1990
Two City Council members are preparing to introduce legislation that would replace the beverage-container tax with taxes on other throw-away products.City Council President Mary Pat Clarke and Councilman Anthony J. Ambridge, D-2nd, said they will introduce bills next week designed to encourage recycling and reduce the amount of city money used to sort solid waste.Their proposals, suggested by a joint city/county task force on solid waste, would:* Create a $10-a-ton disposal charge on solid waste taken to landfills, incinerators and transfer facilities.
NEWS
By Martin C. Evans | November 6, 1990
A dispute over whether to end the container tax in Baltimore, which simmered for more than a week in private conversations throughout City Hall, boiled into public view during last night's meeting of the City Council.Council members, some of whom engaged in a testy exchange on the council floor, were divided over whether to support either of two plans that would repeal the tax.One of the two plans, which were introduced as bills before the council yesterday, would end the tax by the end of next month.
NEWS
By Ginger Thompson | April 30, 1991
The Baltimore City Council voted to lift the controversial container tax last night -- effective May 31 -- leaving City Hall to find other revenue to fill a resulting $6.9 million budget gap for the next fiscal year.One proposed alternative: Reimpose the bottle tax at half the current rate.That suggestion was part of a $5.5 million revenue-raising package introduced last night by Councilman Anthony J. Ambridge, D-2nd, that would also place a tax at the wholesale distributor level on non-recyclable items such as cars, car batteries and tires, motorcycles, and major kitchen and laundry appliances.
NEWS
By Patrick Gilbert and Patrick Gilbert,Evening Sun Staff | April 30, 1991
The City Council last night repealed the controversial beverage container tax but delayed action on legislation that would impose a surcharge on fees charged to remove solid waste from commercial establishments.The 16-month-old container tax, at least in its current form, will end May 31.The council last night wanted to repeal the container tax and give preliminary approval to the surcharge, which is called a recycling incentive fee.The waste removal measure would add a 16 percent surcharge to the fees charged for hauling trash generated by businesses in the city.
NEWS
November 19, 2011
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake seems to think raising the container tax on soft drinks is creative ("Rawlings-Blake calls on council to adopt bottle tax hike," Nov. 14). Just keep taxing the average Joe out of Baltimore. Is that a really good plan? Here is a better idea. Eliminate deputy mayors, make developers pay property tax on what they build and eliminate the Baltimore Development Corporation. I am sure there is more cutting to be done, but these are some easy ways to reduce waste in government quickly without more taxes.
NEWS
November 17, 2011
After reading the article on the city's container tax ("Rawlings-Blake calls on council to raise bottle tax," Nov. 15), it's quite obvious that the mayor is trying to instill fear into Baltimore residents by basically stating that city schoolchildren will continue to suffer if the tax isn't passed. However, I am somewhat confused because originally when the state lottery was established, those proceeds were supposed to be devoted for education. Now where is all that money going to?
NEWS
September 1, 2011
Perhaps it comes from an excess of caffeine and corn syrup, but the beverage industry and its retail allies always seem to be fired up about one thing or another. The latest example is their crusade to repeal Baltimore's controversial bottle tax that was approved just last year and was instrumental in helping the city avoid a huge budget shortfall. Under legislation sponsored by Councilwoman Belinda K. Conaway, the 2-cent tax on beverage containers approved in 2010 would sunset in 2012 instead of 2013.
NEWS
January 14, 2011
The Baltimore Sun editorial "Pepsi Challenge" (Jan. 13) gets it wrong. The Sun makes the assumption that City Council actions have no impact on decisions made by companies. You cannot tax local manufacturing companies, add to operating costs, make their products less competitive and think it doesn't matter! Just a few months back Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake fought hard to institute a $5 million-plus tax on soft drink, water and beer containers to help fund city government operations.
NEWS
January 13, 2011
Is there a person in Baltimore who honestly believes that Pepsi is closing its manufacturing plant in Hampden because of the city's 2-cent tax on beverage containers? If so, they're clearly drinking something a lot stronger than Mountain Dew. Pepsi's decision to halt production in Baltimore for good this week isn't welcome news. It means 77 people have lost their jobs — although several hundred other Pepsi employees will continue to sell and distribute soft drinks from that location.
NEWS
By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun | May 19, 2010
Baltimore City Council members said Wednesday that they have devised a plan to cut the city's huge budget gap without implementing a controversial four-cent tax on bottled beverages. "We do believe we have a workable plan that spreads the responsibility to not just the residents, but the businesses, the nonprofts, the tourists … anyone that's going to have anything to do in and for and with Baltimore City," Councilwoman Helen Holton, who chairs the taxation and finance committee, said at a hastily organized news conference.
NEWS
By Patrick Gilbert and Patrick Gilbert,Evening Sun Staff | March 5, 1991
The City Council, after lengthy and sometimes bitter debate, last night turned back an attempt to repeal the controversial beverage container tax.The council voted 12-7 to table both a bill to repeal the tax and an amendment that would have set March 31 as the effective date of the repeal.In a related action, Councilman Anthony J. Ambridge, D-2nd, introduced a bill that would impose a $10 a ton tipping fee on solid waste disposed of at city facilities. The estimated $8 million that would be generated annually by the tipping fee would replace revenues lost by repealing the container tax.Ambridge made the motion to table the bill that would have repealed the container tax.Some council members said the container tax should not be repealed until after the 1991 General Assembly ends in April.
NEWS
By Patrick Gilbert and Patrick Gilbert,Evening Sun Staff | May 30, 1991
As expected, Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke today vetoed legislation that would have repealed the controversial beverage container tax by midnight tomorrow.The mayor had included $6.9 million in revenues from the tax in his proposed 1992 fiscal year budget that went to the City Council last week.Schmoke said he had little choice but to veto the repealer bill because the council failed to come up with revenues to replace the $6.9 million anticipated from the container tax.After receiving the repealer bill, which passed the council by a 13-6 vote, the mayor had five regularly scheduled council meetings to take some action on the measure or it automatically became law. That deadline would have been up this Monday.
NEWS
April 29, 2010
From the ominous words and music in ads against Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's proposed 4-cent-per-bottle tax on beverage containers, you'd think the end of the world was imminent. Nobody likes a tax hike, especially when Baltimore, like the rest of the country, is struggling to dig out of a recession. But opponents of the measure — backed by the beverage industry — are doing everything they can to whip up fears of unaffordable food prices and a flight of jobs from the city if it passes.
NEWS
By Gerard Shields and Gerard Shields,SUN STAFF | May 12, 1998
With Baltimore desperately seeking new tax money for financially strapped schools, Councilwoman Sheila Dixon yesterday proposed bringing back a tax of up to 4 cents on each beverage container sold in the city.The bill, introduced at the weekly council meeting, was immediately met with outrage by store owners, bottling company representatives and fellow council members, who worked to repeal the tax last year.Dixon, who represents the 4th District and is considered one of Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke's chief council allies, stood alone in calling for reinstituting the tax, which brought in $6.1 million a year before it was phased out."
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