Beshear Standing By Cigarette Tax Proposal

by Rick Howlett on March 10, 2008

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh 

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is refusing to back down on his call for a 70-cent increase in the state’s cigarette tax.

After meeting with the governor Friday, House Democrats announced they were sticking with their plan for a 25-cent increase in the state cigarette tax.

But Governor Beshear, who wants a 70-cent increase, isn’t giving up.  He says there are two good reasons why his proposal is better. 

“Number one, it raises a lot of revenue. Number two, every study indicates it will significantly reduce not only teen smoking, but smoking in general,” Beshear said.

A cigarette tax hike is under consideration because the state is facing huge revenue shortfalls in the next two-year budget cycle. House leaders want to get the $18 billion dollar budget out of committee Tuesday, so it can receive a floor vote on Wednesday.   It would then move to the Senate.

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