Rawlings-Blake to sign bottle tax to fund schools

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake plans to sign into law an increased bottle tax to renovate the city’s crumbling schools.

Rawlings-Blake is scheduled to join schools CEO Andres Alonso and education advocates at Northwood Elementary School on Tuesday. She will sign the “Better Schools Initiative” into law. It raises the tax on bottled beverages from 2 cents to 5 cents in July 2013.

The mayor says the law will more than double the city’s annual contribution to school construction.

Store owners and beverage industry leaders have said the increased bottle tax will push shoppers into the suburbs.

Also Tuesday, the mayor and schools chief will release a report on the state of school facilities.

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