Lawmakers To Take Up Cigarette Tax

Kentucky lawmakers will soon consider proposals to increase the state’s cigarette tax to generate revenue and help offset a $456 million budget shortfall.

Governor Steve Beshear is calling for a 70 cent per pack hike in the tax.

One bill to that effect has been prefiled by Democratic Representative David Watkins of Henderson. Watkins, who’s also a physician, says he’s willing to get behind the governor’s version of the legislation when its introduced.

“I would be glad to support anybody’s bill that will raise the cigarette tax appreciably enough to keep our young people from smoking,” Watkins said.

Watkins also wants to raise Kentucky’s tax on other tobacco products.

A similar proposal failed to muster enough support for passage in the last legislative session.