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Nutter wants new cigarette tax, liquor tax hike to help fund schools

Photo: Nat Hamilton/NewsWorks

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

by Holly Otterbein for NewsWorks

[Updated: 7:07 p.m.]

Your next debaucherous night of drinking and smoking might help close the Philadelphia School District’s enormous budget gap.

Philadelphia’s Mayor Nutter is proposing to increase the liquor-by-the-drink tax and create a brand-new $2 tax on every pack of cigarettes in order to help fund the schools.

Under his plan, the tax on Philly bar tabs would rise from 10 percent to 15 percent. Nutter is also vowing to raise an additional $28 million next fiscal year by doing a better job collecting taxes now owed to the School District.

Nutter’s three-pronged approach is expected to raise an extra $95 million in city tax revenue, which is more than the $60 million requested by school officials.

If the schools don’t get more money, Nutter argues there will be dire consequences.

"Our young people will suffer under a devastating, bare-bones budget," he said. "And we will all suffer as a result: poverty, unemployment, crime, lost wages and lack of personal opportunity."

Read the rest of this story at NewsWorks

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