Smokers in LA could soon pay more for cigarettes

Tender Smoking

Soon smokers across Louisiana could pay more for smoking, as lawmakers will examine a strategy to increase cigarette taxes by $1.05 per pack. According to the last data, smokers were surprised by the issue.

Tim Benedict claimed he gets the positives it could offer to the state economically.

“I’m thinking more about the state of our state. I suggest, I’m injuring myself by smoking so, to increase the cigarette tax adding an extra dollar to see smokers in the state seem comfortable,” he said.

The measure is part of a much bigger tax strategy by Governor Bobby Jindal — one that requires removing the state’s earnings and corporate taxes, while increasing the sales tax to 5.88 %.

“The sales tax would provide more stability to the government income. It will deliver more stability to financial assistance of government services because that is a serious problem for citizens,” Jindal said Thursday.

The proposal would mean the increase of the state ciagrette’s tax from 36 cents to $1.41 per pack.

Eyewitness News Political Analyst Clancy DuBos considers that will be confirmed, but questions remain, he says, on other parts of the sales tax strategy.

“in my opinion there is tremendous support, in the legislature and among voters, for increasing the cigarette tax. That’s the easy part,” DuBos said. “But even the $1.05 raise that Jindal is suggesting only increases about $400 million, maybe a a bit more. He should get $3.1 billion, so he needs to show up with about $2.7 billion and that’s difficult to do with sales taxes.”

More information of the strategy should be discussed soon though, as lawmakers will gather at Baton Rouge in April for the 2013 Legislative Session.

A couple of years ago, Gov. Jindal denied a 70-cent cigarette tax raise, and in 2012 he vetoed a four-cent tax renewal on cigarettes.

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