Philadelphia Cigarette Tax
Philadelphia’s new cigarette tax for school funding has smokers “crossing the border” to save some cash.
The $2 surtax will only be collected in Philadelphia, and the funds will go to the city’s struggling school district.
For some, it was déjà vu: the House passed a bill more than two months ago to authorize the cigarette tax for city schools, but then the bill got bogged down.
The mayor says the interim cuts imposed now to allow schools to open on time will, in his view, affect learning.
The School District of Philadelphia will open as planned on September 8th, but with temporary “service reductions.”
They met for about two hours, but in the end there was no agreement to bring the House back into session to vote on the $2-per-pack cigarette tax to fund Philadelphia public schools.
Rep. Mike Vereb (R-Montgomery County) confirms that supporters of a $2-per-pack city cigarette tax to raise funds for Philadelphia schools are having trouble rounding up enough votes to pass it in the House.
“While there has been a lot of backslapping and clapping and ‘We finally got it done,’ we have not gotten it done,” warns state senator Anthony Williams (at left in photo).
An amendment attached to the Pa. House bill would give groups who want to open charter schools in Philadelphia the right to appeal to a state board if they get turned down by the School Reform Commission.