Monthly Economic Report: Tobacco Tax Revenues Exceed Budget Estimate


Audit Date: May 1, 2013

Audit Categories

  • Financial
Controller: Alan Butkovitz

Executive Summary


For Immediate Release:
May 1, 2013

Contact: Brian Dries
215-686-8869

Tobacco Tax Revenues Exceed Budget Estimate
City Controller’s economic report includes review of revenues generated
from smokeless tobacco tax; $1.6 million since 2010

March 2013 Economic Report

PHILADELPHIA – City Controller Alan Butkovitz today released his latest monthly economic report that indicates yearly smokeless tobacco tax revenues have totaled $699,210 for fiscal year (FY) 2013, which is $68,000 more than the current budget estimate.

Revenues through the first nine months of FY2013 are the most collected in one year since the tax was implemented almost three years ago, and there are still three months of revenue collections remaining. Since FY2011, which was the first reporting year for the tax, it has provided the City with more than $1.6 million in new tax revenues.

Cigars, smokeless tobacco, pipe tobacco rolling papers and other loose tobacco are subject to the tax. Cigarettes and little cigars are excluded. The rate for various taxable items is $0.36 for individually rolled items like cigars and $0.36 per ounce for all other tobacco and tobacco-related items.

There are about 3,000 tobacco retailers in the City of Philadelphia. Although, depending on the products sold, not every retailer could be subject to filing for the smokeless tobacco tax.

Along with highlighting smokeless tobacco tax revenues, the Controller’s economic report indicates yearly sales tax collections have totaled $192 million, which is a three percent increase over the prior year. Yearly wage, earnings and net profits tax revenues have totaled $1.2 billion, which is a four percent increase over the prior year.

The Controller’s economic report is compiled on a monthly basis and includes an Economic Snapshot and Forecast, as well as real estate information and other local statistics. These reports are circulated every month to assist key decision makers in understanding and anticipating local and national economic trends.

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