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Florida in focus: Philadelphia soda tax revenue to fall short

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Philadelphia Inquirer: Philadelphia soda tax revenue to fall short The city will lower its projections for beverage tax revenue this fiscal year, saying the tax will bring in less than had been anticipated.

The 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on sweetened beverages, in effect since January, has brought in $25.6 million, but will fall short of a projected $46.2 million for fiscal year 2017, which ends June 30. While the size of the shortage is unclear, to hit its projected target, the city would need to collect $20 million from May through June, a near-impossibility, the Kenney administration recognized, given that the highest monthly revenue so far has been $7 million in March.

As first reported by Billy Penn on Tuesday, the mayor’s office said it would lower its revenue projections when it presents a revised five-year plan later this month, but it will keep in place its prediction for fiscal year 2018.

City spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said the budget office still believes it will hit its fiscal year 2018 projection of $92 million for the tax because the levy is only four months old and the city is still “working out the kinks.”

The Patriot News: Flag Day 2017: Why do we celebrate? And why do we have Pennsylvania to thank for it?

The United States has several patriotic holidays — Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Flag Day are just a few.

Flag Day is probably the lesser known holiday (although Bill of Rights Day (Dec. 15) and Constitution Day (Sept. 17) may be even more so).

So what’s up with the holiday? Here’s a brief primer on the day.

When is Flag Day?

June 14, the day that the Continental Congress adopted the American flag in 1777.

What is Flag Day?

Flag Day is a state holiday in Pennsylvania that honors the flag of the United States of America.

How did it start?

The answer is a lot more complicated than you would expect.

ABC 27: Senator wants to change how lieutenant governors are elected

Calling it dysfunction on the second floor of the Capitol, state Sen. Dave Argall (R-Berks/Schuylkill) is proposing a constitutional amendment to change how Pennsylvanians elect their lieutenant governors.

“Let’s be honest. This is embarrassing,” Argall said Tuesday, referring to the publicly icy relationship between Gov. Tom Wolf and Lt. Gov. Mike Stack.

“This is not how the top two members of the executive branch should operate to get things done for the people of Pennsylvania,” he said.

Argall wants to change the constitution so gubernatorial candidates pick their running mates, like presidents do on the federal level, instead of the current system where governors and lieutenant governors run independently in primaries and are then forced together in the general election.

“It would make sure they’re on the same team and it’s not just a shotgun marriage,” Argall said.

Philadelphia Inquirer: Suburban hospital sales expected to hurt school districts financially

The pending sale of Pottstown Memorial Medical Center presents a troubling prospect to school district officials in the Montgomery County borough.

The hospital, now owned by the for-profit Community Health Systems Inc., is the school district’s largest real estate taxpayer, by far. The assessment of the main hospital is $20.26 million, about twice the value of the next-biggest property, a shopping mall.

Pottstown Memorial’s property tax bill for the school district, including two smaller properties, was $923,998, public records show. That amounts to 3.2 percent of the $28.65 million the school district budgeted from real estate taxes for the 2016-17 school years.

The buyer of Pottstown Memorial — and four other community hospitals in Southeastern Pennsylvania — is Reading Health System, a not-for-profit organization likely eligible for local property tax exemption.