Cigarette Tax to Help Philly Schools Signed

Gov. Corbett on Wednesday signed the bill that authorizes Philadelphia to impose a $2-a-pack tax on cigarettes to help raise money for the city's cash-starved schools.
by | September 25, 2014 AT 10:15 AM

By Angela Couloumbis

Gov. Corbett on Wednesday signed the bill that authorizes Philadelphia to impose a $2-a-pack tax on cigarettes to help raise money for the city's cash-starved schools.

"For the first time while in Harrisburg, I'm smiling," School Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said.

The signing follows months of wrangling in the GOP-controlled legislature, with some of its more conservative members resisting allowing the city to increase the levy.

Corbett, a Republican, said legislators in both parties came together to bridge those differences.

Democrats in both chambers, who stood beside Corbett during the bill signing, echoed that sentiment but said more work needs to be done to ensure that schools across the state are funded fairly.

The tax takes effect immediately, although officials said consumers will not see the price difference until next week.

The average cost of cigarettes in the city is $5.85.

(c)2014 The Philadelphia Inquirer