Pa. Senate signals support for Philly cigarette tax

Written by The Associated Press | Jun 30, 2014 8:44 PM
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(Harrisburg) -- The Republican-controlled state Senate is poised to approve legislation allowing Philadelphia to help fund its public schools with a cigarette tax increase.

Senators have voted 40-to-10  to add the provision to a wider-ranging bill that makes changes to laws that govern municipalities and counties.

A final vote was expected today, while House approval is still required.

Philadelphia officials say that imposing a $2 per-pack city excise tax on cigarette sales will provide $83 million for its schools. Without the money, they say the schools won't be fit to open in the fall.

Governor Corbett and House Republican leaders had suggested they'd block a cigarette tax increase unless Philadelphia Democrats signed on to legislation to pare back future public employee pension benefits.

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