.

Stokes Says He's Keeping 'Bottle Tax' Alive

Stokes defended his stance against the bottle tax during a Baltimore Education Coalition rally on Monday.

Councilman Carl Stokes said that by not holding a vote on a proposed bottle tax increase he is keeping the legislation alive.

"The committee—I’m keeping the bill alive—the committee doesn’t want it," Stokes said.

Stokes, who represents Remington and Charles Village, made his comments in an interview following his appearance at the Baltimore Education Coalition’s rally at the War Memorial Building on Monday.

Stokes stood up before the rally, which was held in part to show support for the tax increase, and said he wants the city to reevaluate its total budget and not just depend on a bottle tax for school construction. When asked during the rally if he would let the bill out of committee Stokes did not answer.

Stokes is the chairman of the Taxation, Finance and Economic Development Committee, which the bottle tax increase must make it through. Councilman Bill Henry and Councilman Warren Branch serve on the committee and have expressed reservations about the tax. Councilman Bill Cole and Councilman Edward Reisinger are also committee members have expressed support for the tax increase. 

Watch the video of part of Stokes appearance at the rally above.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has from its current 2 cents a bottle to 5 cents a bottle as part of a plan that would leverage $300 million in bonds to help build more schools.

Stokes said that he wants to reorder the entire city budget because the city is only spending 11 percent of its budget on education.

In an interview following the meeting Stokes said that he has held a hearing on the budget, but that members of the committee do not want to pass the legislation and that he was keeping the bottle tax alive.

Christian May 15, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Standing for ones principles is extremely difficult for anyone to do particularily when a crowd faces you and chants "let it out". Councilman Stokes wants the City to re-evaluate the entire budget in order to align it with most counties in the state where education receives 40/50% of the budget so that children will not have to conduct bake sales or rely upon foundations to support programs, youth opportunities and needed construction of the school's system. It is his desire that by keeping the bottle tax issue in committee that the city will agree to improving the budget for the school system, therefore offering the children of this city a better opportunity to become tomorrow's citizens. He has the support of some of the council members in this fight and stood there alone last evening in front of this group who do not understand what he is trying to accomplish and what he wants to achieve will benefit the schools of this city far greater than a 3 cent hike in the bottle tax.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something