Mulling a Higher Liquor Tax

Philly explores liquor tax to raise money for schools

Friday, Apr 5, 2013  |  Updated 6:11 PM EDT
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The City Council is considering a five percent increase to the existing ten percent liquor tax. The money collected would help fund city schools. NBC10's Doug Shimell spoke to bar employees and reports what this tax could mean for business.

NBC10.com - Doug Shimell

The City Council is considering a five percent increase to the existing ten percent liquor tax. The money collected would help fund city schools. NBC10's Doug Shimell spoke to bar employees and reports what this tax could mean for business.

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That drink in your hand could soon be costing you more.

Philadelphia officials may soon be asking you to raise a drink to the city's school system.

Mayor Michael Nutter and City Council are weighing the idea of increasing the “liquor by the drink tax” to help pay for the School Reform Commission's request last week for $60 million.

The tax was enacted in 1994 and is currently at 10 percent. It affects retail sales of wine, beer and malt beverages and generates about $40 million annually, which is earmarked for the school district.

Nutter says increasing that tax is “certainly something that we should explore now.” City Council President Darrell Clarke has also pledged support for increasing the tax.

The school district says it needs an extra $60 million from the city and $120 million from the state.

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