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City Council Hears Proposal To Increase Liquor-By-The-Drink Tax

(credit: CBS) Jenn Bernstein
Jenn Bernstein joined CBS 3 and The CW Philly as a general assign...
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By Jenn Bernstein

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Inside City Council Chambers, parents and education advocates continued to urge City Council members to find a solution to the school district’s budget crisis during a committee hearing Wednesday.

They even presented 4,000 letters written by school children.

“I came out today to stand up for all of the children, all of the teachers, all the principals, everybody in Philadelphia’s public school system,” said parent Kim Smith.

Mayor Michael Nutter wants to increase the liquor-by-the-drink tax from 10 to 15 percent to help create funding.

City Council President Darrell Clarke announced that there would be no vote in committee on Wednesday afternoon on the liquor-by-the-drink tax increase.

But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen, despite the city’s June 30th budget deadline looming ever closer.

Clarke said it all depends on the state legislature in Harrisburg.

“This whole issue about what we’re going to do here locally doesn’t matter if we don’t get state enabling legislation,” said Clarke.

Mayor Nutter’s other proposed bill, a $2 tax on cigarettes, was easily voted out of committee.

Despite it going through, the Council President said members are waiting to act on the liquor-by-the-drink bill to see if the General Assembly in Harrisburg grants the city’s request.

In order for the city to enact either tax, they need the state legislature to give permission.

Meanwhile, in Harrisburg, state Senator Anthony Williams has introduced both tax bills in the General Assembly.

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