Pipe tobacco and cigars eyed as taxable by Philadelphia councilman

    A Philadelphia City Councilman is looking to tax some tobacco products to help the city work its way out of a $150-million hole in its budget.

    A Philadelphia City Councilman is looking to tax some tobacco products to help the city work its way out of a $150-million hole in its budget.

    Councilman Darrell Clarke says he wants to tax chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco and cigars to help plug the hole in the budget.

    “The bottom line is that we have a projected $150-million deficit,” says Clarke. “We don’t want to cut services if we don’t raise the money. There’s a likelihood that we would cut services dramatically. This appears to have some significant support.”

    The councilman says if the tax is approved, rolling papers and snuff will also be taxed. The tax is expected to raise between five and six million dollars a year, and Councilman Clarke says it’s a tax he feels can be approved, as opposed to the sugar tax and trash fees which are facing stiff opposition in council.

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