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New Fireworks Law Gives Pennsylvania Residents More Options

But, there is now a higher tax when buying aerial fireworks

DELAWARE WATER GAP, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) - The Fourth of July is coming up, and this time of year, people will be celebrating with fireworks.

Because of a new state law, Pennsylvania residents have more options when purchasing fireworks in the Keystone State. But, the new rules come at a higher price.

Before the new law, Pennsylvania residents could only buy larger fireworks in Pennsylvania if they received a permit from their local municipality. Now, they won't need to provide a permit.

Gregory Marino is the store manager of Phantom Fireworks in Delaware Water Gap. In the past, he was allowed to sell Pennsylvania residents these smaller, ground-based items like sparklers and fountains.

But, he couldn't sell them larger fireworks like roman candles and bottle rockets.

"The bigger stuff, they were aware they needed permits for," says Gregory Marino, store manager, Phantom Fireworks.

Thanks to a new law that took effect last November, Pennsylvania residents can now purchase aerial and explosive fireworks.

Marino's busy season is coming up, and he's excited to see how residents will react. He adds, "we are seeing interest, but it's a little to early to tell."

In addition to the 6-percent sales tax, Pennsylvania has also issued a new 12-percent tax for aerial fireworks. That means a $100 dollar purchase will cost $18 dollars more in tax.

Marino says, "that's for all customers. So, even our New York and New Jersey customers are paying that tax."

Municipalities across the state are now updating their ordinances to conform with the new law. That includes Tobyhanna Township.

"So that we're not out of sync with the legislation that was passed in Harrisburg," explains John Jablowski, manager, Tobyhanna Township.

Certain restrictions are still in place. For example, fireworks can't be handled by someone whose under the influence. "You can't do it within certain distances of other structures," Jablowski adds.

Private, residential communities may also impose their own rules.

The sales tax remains at 6-percent for smaller items, like sparklers or fountain fireworks.


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