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Council: We've done our part for schools; now Pa. needs to help

by Tom MacDonald for NewsWorks

Philadelphia City Council is poised to pass its funding solution for the city's public schools this week. But the formula will depend on cooperation from Pennsylvania legislators.

The Council plans to pass a tax of $2-per-pack of cigarettes, proposed by Mayor Nutter, combined with enhanced revenue collection of about $28 million in back taxes.

Council President Darrell Clarke says that will add up to $74.4 million for the schools.

"It was determined, based on the $2-per-pack cigarette tax, that it would raise upwards of $46 million," Clarke said Tuesday. "Additionally, based on our process of aggressive collections and internal measures in the city of Philadelphia, we were able to raise another $28 million."

Read the rest of this story at NewsWorks

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Comments (6)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on June 18, 2013 6:51 pm
Way to go. Drive some more taxpayers out of the city.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on June 18, 2013 7:02 pm
A $2 / pack cigarette tax and increased enforcement on property taxes is going to drive people out of the city?
Submitted by Poogie (not verified) on June 18, 2013 7:41 pm
This absurd, futile stupid etc. Why does the news media report this as if the council is actaully doing something????? THE CITY HAS NO POWER TO TAX CIGARETTES. IT IS NEVER GOING TO GET THIS POWER SINCE CORBETT WILL NEVER SIGN SUCH A BILL NOR WILL THE LEGISLATURE PASS ONE. THERE IS NO BILL ON THE CALENDAR OR UNDER ACTIVE CONSIDERATION IN HARRISBURG. IF THE STATE LETS PHILADELPHIA TAX CIGARETTES WHY NOT THE OTHER 550 DISTRICTS? WHY DO YOU REPORT THIS AS A SERIOUS PROPOSAL IS THE PATHETIC ACTION OF A BUNCH OF FAKE POSERS! PHILADELPHIA IS DOOMED WITH LEADERS LIKE THIS.
Submitted by Eileen DiFranco (not verified) on June 18, 2013 8:02 pm
A little birdie told me that council members were on the I pads while their constituencies were testifying. Does council really care about education?
Submitted by Ron Whitehorne on June 18, 2013 11:19 pm

Statement from PCAPS

City Council teeters on the brink of doing nothing in the face of the most devastating  cuts to education in the history of our School District.    

The only bill that could insure additional funding for schools is the Use and Occupancy tax reform bill that would cancel a tax windfall for corporate landlords while protecting small business.   It would raise an estimated 31 million for the schools.    Yet Council President Darrel Clark seems bent on avoiding passing this legislation, pinning hopes on a cigarette tax that requires prior approval by the state, something that is far from a sure thing.   Council has already rejected another measure, an increase in the liquor by the drink tax, that also requires enabling legislation by the state.

Clark, along with the Mayor, cite increased revenue from going after tax delinquents.  While we fully support aggressive action in this area, it is unclear how this will happen and, again, the money is far from certain.   

By appearing to turn its back on the one bill that combines a serious commitment to more funding with tax fairness, Council weakens the critical efforts of school advocates to make the case for more funding in Harrisburg, something we, along with our allies, think is essential to avoiding a doomsday outcome in Philadelphia, and we would add, across much of the state as well.   

Please come out to Council on Thursday at 11am to make your voice heard: To speak call 215-686-3410.   Call or Tweet Council President Clark and Education Chair Jannie Blackwell and demand passage of the Quinones-Sanchez Use and Occupancy tax reform bill.  

•    Darrell L. Clarke, District 5
o    City Hall, Room 313
o    (215)686-3442, (215)686-3443 
o    Twitter: @Darrel_Clarke
•    Jannie Blackwell, District 3
o    City Hall, Room 408
o    (215) 686-3418, (215) 686-3419

  

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on June 19, 2013 1:12 am
There will be more money for the schools. When the state can force the PFT to giveback. It is only a precent that they want in order to break the union. The SDP is only hiring non-represented employees and laying off PFT employees in order to pressure the PFT to give back. This is union busting at its finest.

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