A bill to provide crucial revenue for the cash-strapped Philadelphia School District has won approval from the state House of Representatives.
The House approved the bill to authorize a $2-a-pack cigarette tax in the city Monday by a vote of 114 to 84. Concurrence from the Senate is necessary before it would be sent to Gov. Tom Corbett, who supports the measure.
The bill has been stalled since June, even though both the House and Senate supported the tax authorization to provide $83 million a year to the state's largest school district.
House and Senate Republican leaders fought over other elements that included local hotel taxes and a small-city economic development program, but the latest version includes only the Philadelphia provision. The state already imposes a $1.60 cigarette excise tax.