- Associated Press - Thursday, March 16, 2017

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Temple University is rethinking a meal plan fee hike that it had blamed largely on Philadelphia’s new sweetened-beverage tax.

The school had announced a 6 percent hike for its meal plan for the 2017-18 school year, and said the tax was responsible for 4.8 percent of the increase. After being criticized by Mayor Jim Kenney’s office, the school is walking back the move.

The mayor’s office says universities around the country have been raising meal plan fees, and that the tax is becoming a scapegoat for unpopular decisions.

Temple says the mayor’s office has raised valid concerns about the accuracy of its estimates, and that it will review its calculations before moving forward. Spokesman Ray Betzner also says the university will ask the school’s beverage vendor to lower costs.

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