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Rawlings-Blake pushes increase in Baltimore bottle tax

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is calling on the city council to pass her plan to raise the city’s bottle tax to help pay for school renovations.

Rawlings-Blake made the pitch Monday at an elementary school in the eastern part of the city. The proposed increase from 2 cents to 5 cents is part of three-part plan that would allow the school system to float more than $300 million in bonds.

In addition to the bottle tax, other money would come from the city’s share of profits from a planned casino.

The 2-cent tax was imposed last year only after the council voted down a 4-cent tax. Retailers and the beverage industry had lobbied against it.