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City Council Reaches Deal: Property Taxes To Rise, Soda Tax Dead

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(City Hall chambers was packed on Thursday morning with many expressing opposition to Mayor Nutter's proposed tax on sweetened soft drinks.  Photos by Mike Dunn)

(City Hall chambers was packed on Thursday morning with many expressing opposition to Mayor Nutter’s proposed tax on sweetened soft drinks. Photos by Mike Dunn)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia City Council reached a proposed deal that is expected to raise around $53 million in revenue for the city’s cash-strapped school district.

According to sources, the agreement includes a hike in property taxes by 3.85 percent for one year, a permanent raise of the Center City and University City parking rates by 50-cents, and an additional $10-million from its $50-million emergency fund.

Mayor Nutter’s proposed “soda tax” is not included in the agreement.

Nutter held a late evening press conference reacting to City’s Council school district bail out plan.

“I think that ultimately the students of this city are certainly the beneficiaries of a lot of hard work and effort by our administration and certainly city council. This is the kind of effort that we need to demonstrate, not only on the ground, our support for public education, but also when working with our partners in Harrisburg.”

The Mayor says the $53 million that will be raised by the proposed property tax hike and parking increases will help restore critical school services, such as bus transportation and reduced class sizes. But not all key programs will be restored.

“There may be some things that don’t get funding. And one of those things is accelerated schools,” said Nutter

Nutter says the funding voted on by City Council may not cover the program.

Dr. Arlene Ackerman also spoke with reporters.

“The district started with zero this morning, we’re now at 53 (million), so there’s no way I’m going to say that I’m disappointed.”

Reported by Ben Bowens, CBSPhilly.com; Mike Dunn and Cherri Gregg, KYW Newsradio

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