Mayor Kenney’s budget address proposed ambitious new programs – the most expensive proposals included education initiatives (pre kindergarten seats for 25,000 students at a cost of $256 million and 25 “community” schools), $350 million in infrastructure improvements, expenditures for energy efficiency and $26 million for the $5 billion pension deficit. Acknowledging the painful truth that what government provides in benefits it must pay for via taxes, the Mayor proposed Bill160176, a three cent per ounce tax on non alcoholic sweetened beverages to be levied on distributors, not retailers. Enclosed are the portion of the Mayor’s budget message addressing this soda/sugar levy as well as the entire budget message. Criticism of the proposal from business and union interests, such as an op ed piece in the Philadelphia Business Journal, have been prompt and strident. Take a bit of time to read the Mayor’s proposal and the response from the business community THEN COMPLETE THE ATTACHED FOUR-QUESTION SURVEY TO PROVIDE YOUR THOUGHTS.