From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh
A new poll released by a coalition of health groups indicates Kentucky voters strongly support a substantial increase in the state cigarette tax.
The survey of 500 registered voters shows 69-percent of those polled support a one-dollar increase in the tax.
That sounds good to Governor Steve Beshear, who’s trying to convince lawmakers to approve a 70-cent increase.
“I certainly think it adds to the momentum I feel is out there for some significant increase in the cigarette tax,” Beshear said Thursday.
Beshear says a 70-cent increase would raise about 81-million dollars during the remainder of the current fiscal year and 144-million next year. Right now, the tax is 30-cents per pack. Beshear is looking for ways to eliminate a projected 456-million dollar state budget deficit.