Legislation Could Quadruple Cigarette Tax
A bill has been pre-filed for the next legislative session which begins on April 13th, seeking to increase the taxes on cigarettes. iIf such a tax hike should pass, smokers could see a huge rise in the cost of a pack of cigarettes. It's all a part to make up a state revenue shortfall.
The State of Louisiana is looking at a $1.6 billion dollar budget short fall and one way they are considering making up that shortfall is to increase the tax on cigarettes. According to Representative Harold Ritchie, the increased tax can raise about $240 million a year for the state.
Ritchie has introduced two bills that would raise taxes $1.18 on a pack of cigarettes. The current tax is only 36 cents per pack, but with the tax increase it would go up to $1.54 per pack.
Ritchie believes the tax will have a positive side effect in that many people will quit smoking rather than pay the new inflated price on a pack of cigarettes. However, a similar piece of legislation in Wisconsin raised the price of a pack of cigarettes from $4 to $8 and there was no major decrease in the number of smokers in that state.
Before you panic, keep in mind that Governor Bobby Jindal has stated that he would veto any tax increase.
The bill has been pre-filed for the next legislative session, which starts April 13.
Thanks to our friends at KPLC for details on this story