Statement on the Cigarette Tax for Philadelphia Schools

Statement from the Philadelphia School Partnership and PennCAN

“It has been a long, hard summer for Philadelphia schools. Now is the time to support Gov. Corbett, the General Assembly—Republicans and Democrats—and city and School District leaders as they work together to ensure schools open on time and ready to teach.

Both houses of the Assembly have already passed the cigarette tax with bipartisan support, and Gov. Corbett has signaled he will sign a reconciled bill when it gets to his desk. Appropriations Chairman Rep. William Adolph rarely eager to support new taxes, has been steadfast in recognizing that in Philadelphia’s case the cigarette tax is the best available option to address a critical need.

Nobody likes that the final cigarette vote is delayed until next month. But safe passage in September is better than coming up a few votes shy in August. The bulk of revenue from the smoking tax was always going to come in the second half of the fiscal year. Many leaders have worked hard all summer long, doing their best to overcome the constraints of their particular roles, to get this done. We support and acknowledge their efforts and will continue to help in any way we can.”