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A penny an ounce soda tax for parks?

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn thinks it's a good idea, but his opponent State Senator Ed Murray isn't sweet on it.

With the mayoral election nearly six weeks away, the soda pop tax popped up at a mayoral forum sponsored by the Seattle Parks Foundation.

The city faces a $270 million park maintenance backlog.

McGinn's idea would bring in $20 million a year for parks and community centers.

It's a tax that if you spend it on good things like programming for kids and community center hours the public might support it rather than property taxes, he said.

Three years ago, voters statewide repealed a similar tax on soda and candy. Although Seattle voters wanted to keep it, the tax was dumped.

State Senator Ed Murray says he helped to get it passed but it wasn't successful. He's critical of the Mayor's idea.

I think it's a nice political trick but I don't think it solves the problem. It lacks strategic thinking. We need a revenue source that is sustainable over the long run, Murray said.

No sugar coating it.

McGinn claims Murray's opposition to the soda tax comes from his donations from the soda industry.

Murray's spokesman calls it a desperate 11th hour ploy from the Mayor.

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