Cigarette tax to go up 75 cents on Tuesday

Madison — Wisconsin’s cigarette tax will go up 75 cents per pack on Tuesday, making it the fifth highest tax in the country and by far the most among neighboring states.

Securing the higher tax was part of a one-two punch secured by anti-smoking advocates this year. The other was persuading the Legislature to pass a statewide anti-smoking ban that takes effect on July 5, 2010.

Those who fought for the ban and the tax increase say it provides those looking to quit with more motivation to do so.

But grocery and convenience store owners say the higher taxes will mean a loss in sales of between 25% and 40%. Many smokers are expected to look for cheaper sources, such as over the Internet or in neighboring states where the tax is lower.


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