Councilwoman: Cigarette Tax Should Cover Vaping

Blondell Reynolds Brown says schools need money from a levy on e-cigarettes.

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Funny side effect of recent innovations in tobacco consumption: The city’s new $2-a-pack sales tax on cigarettes doesn’t apply to e-cigarettes — but Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown wants to change that, the Inquirer reports:

City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown said Thursday that she would introduce legislation that would put a $2 tax on e-cigarettes and a tax on the liquid nicotine they use — with the levy going directly to the underfunded Philadelphia school district.

“When we know our school district is starving for revenue,” Brown said Wednesday, “every penny counts. We have to think outside the box and come up with new reoccurring revenue streams.”

Unlike regular cigarettes, the city doesn’t need state approval to levy such a tax. But critics warn that making e-cigarettes more expensive could drive some smokers back to traditional cigarettes.