Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Washington Lawmakers OK $1-Per-Pack Cigarette Tax Hike


The Washington Legislature is adding $1 to the price of a pack of cigarettes.

The House and Senate both passed a higher tobacco tax on Monday night, as lawmakers worked to wrap up their special legislative session.

It's part of the Legislature's plan to raise close to $800 million in revenue for the state budget. The bill now goes to Gov. Chris Gregoire for final approval.

Starting on May 1, the tax of a pack of cigarettes increases to slightly more than $3. Taxes also will be raised on other products, such as cigars and chewing tobacco.

Democrats said the measure would raise money and discourage smoking, while Republicans said it could just drive tobacco purchases to other states or online.

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