In 1994, then-Councilman Nutter voted in favor of creating the tax, which now brings in more than $45 million per year.
"President Clarke and I have talked about that and I am certainly interested in that kind of proposal, but my track record on that one is pretty clear," Nutter said. The 1994 bill "was a tough vote for a lot of folks but I thought it was the right thing to do then and it's certainly something that we should explore now."
Clarke spokeswoman Jane Roh wrote in an email that the Council president "supports increasing this tax to bolster an annualized revenue stream for the schools."
Pat Conway, president of the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association, said that while businesses don't like the tax, it's the customers who usually absorb its cost.
"It would be a tough pill to swallow for restaurants and taverns and for the entire hospitality industry, but it's actually more of a consumer issue," Conway said.
The possibility of increasing the tax by half (to 15 percent per drink) has been floated. That's no silver bullet cocktail shaker for fully funding the schools' request, so Council and the mayor would have to find money in other places to reach the $60 million the schools say they need to plug their enormous budget gap.
Nutter supports funding the request but has been elusive as to how he wants to get that done. On Thursday he addressed criticism that his administration hasn't yet presented a plan, saying he wants to first develop one with Council.
"We don't have a plan today and we certainly don't have all the answers today, and we don't have to have a plan and all the answers today. Our budget process, at least under the Charter, is completed by the end of May," he said.
Some in Council, including Clarke, have not committed to providing the full $60 million, arguing that after two years of city property-tax hikes for the schools, it's Harisburg's turn.
Nutter, however, said Thursday he thinks Philly needs to show its commitment first to get more money out of the state.
"It would put us at that much worse of a situation from a discussion or negotiation standpoint to somehow seek additional funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania . . . while some might suggest that the city would not be putting dollars on the table," he siad. "I have to reject that kind of strategy."