Cigarette tax hike shelved amid opposition - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Cigarette tax hike shelved amid opposition

By MELINDA DESLATTE
Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A bid to raise cigarette taxes by $1.05 per pack has stalled in the House tax committee, amid legislative resistance to tax increases.

Bogalusa Rep. Harold Ritchie pulled his proposal before a vote Monday, saying he knew he didn't have the support to advance the measure to the House floor. It would have raised cigarette taxes from 36 cents per pack to $1.41.

Supporters of the tobacco tax hike say it would reduce smoking and smoking-related illnesses while also generating much-needed money for the state budget.

Opponents say increased taxes don't drop smoking levels. They say the tax increase could harm revenue at convenience stores. Many opponents also disagree philosophically with raising taxes.

Gov. Bobby Jindal said he'll veto any tax hike that isn't offset with tax reductions elsewhere.

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