House passes budget that includes cigarette tax increase
Kentucky House members have approved a budget proposal that includes a 25-cent cigarette tax increase and a boost in taxes on other tobacco products. With the proposed tax increase, cigarette and tobacco taxes would be expected to bring in $200 million over the next two years. Approximately $130 million of the new tax revenues from tobacco and other sources are budgeted for health and human service programs, including Medicaid. Click here to read more about Kentucky’s budget.
Health groups launch ad campaign supporting 93-cent increase in SC cigarette tax
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Heart Association, and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids recently launched a public relations campaign in South Carolina to gain public support for raising the state cigarette tax to $1. Newspaper and radio advertisements are being aired as state lawmakers consider a proposal for a 45-cent tax increase. Health groups are pushing for an even higher tax because South Carolina’s tax is currently the nation’s lowest at only seven cents a pack. According to the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, a 93-cent tax increase could bring in an extra $220 million for tobacco prevention and other health programs. For more information about the campaign, click here.
Ore. governor to renew push for cigarette tax increase
After Measure 50 was defeated in last November’s general election with influence from a powerful tobacco lobby, Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski is attempting to revitalize support for a similar cigarette tax increase. Kulongoski’s camp admits that the current economic downturn may not be an ideal situation to propose a tax increase, but maintains that children’s healthcare is in need of financial support. The proposed new tax may have a better chance of passing in the state legislature than the Measure 50 tax because it is likely to be lower than last year’s 84.5 cent increase, and because tax revenues will be directed specifically toward children’s healthcare. Click here for more information.
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