House approves city sales tax hike

We can't see Mayor Nutter right now since he is in Harrisburg. But one would assume he is feeling at least a small degree of relief since the Pennsylvania House just approved a penny-per-dollar increase of the city's sales tax, raising it from 7 percent to 8 percent.

The vote on House Bill 1828 was 112-85. (Here's the roll call vote.)

The legislation will also allow the city to defer payments for two years into the pension fund.

Now onto the next challenge - the state Senate, where leaders have said they won't consider acting on the Philadelphia legislation until a state budget is in place. Here's the story from today's Inquirer.

Earlier today, Senate Majority Leader Domenic Pileggi gave little indication that he was willing to budge from his stance of hashing out a state budget first.



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At a news conference in Harrisburg, he appeared to question the urgency of the Philadelphia legislation, noting that the Senate had introduced a bill less than a week ago, and that - until the past hour - no House legislation had been voted on.

Also, Pileggi said: "The other 66 counties are asking for relief in their pension situations and some are looking for a local [sales] tax option in a similar way to the city of Philadelphia,” Pileggi said. “I don’t know why we would pick Philadelphia out as a special case, other than the fact that the governor is from Philadelphia and has a special interest in Philadelphia’s welfare.”