Philly Cigarette Tax Stalls in PA House

Nutter: Schools must prepare for layoffs.

House Republicans are refusing to amend a state budget bill to include authorization for a Philly cigarette tax that would help City Hall make up the shortfall in the city’s school budget. Mayor Nutter said Tuesday night’s result means Philly schools must prepare for layoffs.

AP reports:

Majority Republicans on the House Rules Committee voted against putting the authorization in a companion bill to the state budget bill that lawmakers passed Monday. Democrats voted unanimously in favor of it.

Still, sympathetic Republicans said they would try to push through separate legislation that would authorize the city to impose a $2 per-pack sales tax to provide $83 million to fill a deficit. Officials say another round of layoffs would leave Pennsylvania’s largest school district ill-equipped to educate children and possibly prevent schools from opening on time.

The Patriot-News adds:

In striking down the authorization to allow Philadelphia to have a local cigarette tax, House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, argued that the tax authorization was not germaine to the budget-related bill.

He argued that adding that language could put the entire fiscal code bill in jeopardy. But he pledged to have House Appropriations Committee Chairman Bill Adolph, R-Delaware, take the lead on working to grant the city the tax authorization in a separate bill. However, when pressed, Turzai refused to say how soon that bill might receive a vote.

 The paper says: “Afterward, Nutter said the committee’s decision was disappointing and baffling and will force the district and the School Reform Commission that runs it to begin making preparations to lay off staff, which, in turn, will hurt the education students receive.”


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  • hape2b

    Maybe one day, the people of PA will understand that EVERYONE needs to contribute to educating our young people not just some. Using property taxes is not the answer because it only affects the people who own property. Using a cigarette tax is not the answer because it only affects those who smoke. We need a tax that is charged to everyone to pay for schools because schools benefit the entire community not just a one subset of it.

    • liberal hater

      HEY STUPID! you ever think the ghetto trash who pay NOTHING are the problem? They pay nothing in sales tax, state tax, real estate taxes, wage taxes. NOTHINIG! and yet these are the trash screaming the loudest! These kids get free breakfast and lunch along with a freed education.

      • guest

        Hey Stupid! Thats what he’s saying! That EVERYONE needs to pay taxes, not just some.

        But you didn’t really want to reply to his comment. You just wanted to spew your nonsensical political rant.

        And I am NOT a democrat.

      • Rose

        Wash your mouth out with soap. Do you follow people around when they buy things? Everyone pays sales tax on items they buy that are taxed. You need to become better informed before you call someone “Stupid.” I agree with guest and I will add – you just wanted to spew hatred. Karma!

        • liberal hater

          Heh heh heh, those on welfare are EXEMPT from any state sales tax moron when ringing it up at the cash register when paying with the state debit card you fool! Now YOU go educate your self! those living in public housing? Tax payer funded loser! WAs on Cash assistance for a few short months years ago and any time I paid with debit card sales tax was deducted. so again Who look like the fool? you do.

  • liberal hater

    The union goons who soak up the city budget , tax payer money are the problem.

    • guest

      No…. YOU are the problem. People that want to make everything about what side of the political spectrum they belong to…spending all their time and effort trashing the other side, rather than working towards a real solution.

      And no, I am NOT a democrat.

      • claudineabelson

        my buddy’s
        sister makes $87 every hour on the internet . She has been unemployed for 6
        months but last month her payment was $19402 just working on the internet for a
        few hours. go right here M­o­n­e­y­d­u­t­i­e­s­.­C­O­M­

        • Eric the Red

          She could afford a cig tax then!

      • liberal hater

        get the welfare sucking leeches and the uneducated losers like you educated and off the system and we have the problem solved. REAL pension reform, get rid of the unions and we would have a balanced budget. This has been decades in the making but you can not tell that to a bunch of know it alls now can you?

  • critical mass

    Republicans are destroying the country, gutting jobs, education, health, women’s rights. They are a disease.

    • guest

      No…. YOU are the disease. People that want to make everything about what side of the political spectrum they belong to…spending all their time and effort trashing the other side, rather than working towards a real solution.

      And no, I am NOT a republican.

      • critical mass

        that would perhaps be a compelling position if it weren’t the case that *all* Republicans voted against the bill and have been the ones exclusively undermining and in fact outright destroying the public school system in Philadelphia. So if you’re not a Republican, I must assume that you are simply ignorant about the current issues and how the different parties stand on them. You have nothing to contribute whatsoever, if that is the case. You’re just noise.

    • Charliefoxtrot

      Do you support the right of philly residents to be able to leave the city to buy smokes, or should we do something about that too? Really, you don’t have to look to far back into your leftist ideological past to get some good ideas on restricting movement, checkpoints, etc….but yould have to get everyone an ID, which is racist, apparently.

      You know what works pretty good is that big wall that was put up in Berlin, you might want to look into that, otherwise you’re gonna have an explosion of cigarette stores popping up a stones throw over the city limits.

      • critical mass

        I think when it comes to controlling the movements and actions of citizens, the Republicans are way ahead of the pack, from their desire to build walls across the Mexican/US border to their desire to control women’s bodies. People can choose to smoke. In any case, the Republicans have actually diverted funds that used to support our schools, and don’t want to put them into education, perhaps because, like many of the hostile posters on this thread, they are racists?

        • Charliefoxtrot

          Yeah, it’s tough, having passports n borders n stuff. Weird how even sweden, Norway etc all have such racist systems too!
          Let me be the first to condemn Mexico’s tough border enforcement laws as racist, since they immediately deport those entering Mexico illegally.

          • critical mass

            ignorant response: perhaps you don’t know that the Republicans have proposed building a great big Berlin type wall, steel barriers and all, across the Mexican border. For now, they are just building giant, barbed wire walls (a feature of the Berlin wall as well, by the way). So before you make your exaggerated, unfounded characterizations, catch up on the news and on the delightfully fascist positions being taken all over the place by your party. Sig heil.

          • Charliefoxtrot

            Ha. The fact that you equate a border fence (which Spain has built, a country full of socialists) and border security (which helps to stop drugs/terrorists/infectious diseases etc) with Soviet restrictions on movement in Germany is silly.

            Unless you think that laws are meaningless, and we’ve got plenty of money to feed, clothe, and support everyone who wants to walk over our southern border from another continent, while simultaneously crying over a lack of money for our schools?

          • critical mass

            I see, so when you nattered on about Berlin walls in your initial post you were, well, just nattering on. No substance. No response to concrete positions. Just nattering. Like a Republican, making a lot of loud noise but no sense, and attempting to silence and intimidate others with your blustering. Meanwhile, schools are closing, noise-maker. And all you’ve got is empty rhetoric.

          • Charliefoxtrot

            Actually, I don’t think you see. Someone who equates border security with communist restrictions on freedom of movement….is sad.
            One, you see, is forbidden. The other is allowed, following the rule of law.

            Do you leave your door wide open when you leave the house? Why not? Someone could just….walk in? You must be a rethuggglican racist!

            Could you point me to where grades were much better in the years under a Democratic governor, Council, Mayor, and police chief? Because to hear you speak, evil republicans somehow are holding the city back from increased graduation rates and grades, when they held a minority position in government.

          • critical mass

            ah, so my equating an actual wall with an actual wall is…”sad,” but your bizarre equating of a cigarette tax with the Berlin Wall is… well, let me say it: stupid.

          • Charliefoxtrot

            I think you think I equated that. I merely was pointing put the stupidity of passing a tax that people can avoid with their feet.

          • critical mass

            PS, if you want to track the rapid deterioration of public education, look no further than the genius Republican president who instituted the “no child left behind” act which, as it turned out, translated into: impoverish the schools and send all the poor kids to prisons (aka Republicans’ resuscitation of the poor house) and to war. Like I said, the Republicans have destroyed the country, from bankrupting it to killing education to getting into wars around the world that are popular with no one, not even the soldiers fighting them and let’s not forget the NRA, ensuring that kids across our country are killing each other. Our country is now run by the rich and unscrupulous, thanks to Reagan, Bush and company. Anyone affiliated with the Republican Party should hang his head in disgrace.

          • Charliefoxtrot

            Oh, you mean the bill which received huge support from Democrats and passed with an overwhelming majority?