Philadelphia Cigarette Tax Hike Proposal May Be Dead

A spokesman for the House GOP says the proposal is not on the table.

A higher cigarette tax in Philadelphia, one of lawmakers’ plans to help fund the criminally underfunded Philadelphia public school system, may be dead.

Philadelphia politicians want the higher cigarette tax, but it can’t raise the cigarette tax without state approval. Pennsylvania House Republicans say they think this proposal is a no-go.

It’s … actually confusing. Pennsylvania House GOP spokesperson Steve Miskin says he believes Philadelphia Democrats actually won’t come to the table.

“Right now, I’m not even aware that they even came and said ‘we support a cigarette tax’,” he said. “So the fact that they’re all standing firm to be a ‘no’ on everything does not help Philadelphia schools’ cause.”

A Democratic House delegation spokesperson says the party wants the cigarette tax, but the GOP says it’s not on the table, because the Democratic House doesn’t want it or won’t negotiate or something. See? Very confusing. Either way, it doesn’t look like an increased cigarette tax is coming anytime soon. You’re two bucks-a-pack richer, smokers.

[KYW 1060]