House Holds Public Hearing On Tobacco Tax

Democrats held an informational meeting on raising the cigarette tax in Idaho by $1.25 per pack, a move forced by the Republican Party’s refusal to schedule a hearing.

About 60 people attended Monday’s session.

Democrats want a tax hike from 57 cents per pack now to help reduce smoking – and raise money to fund programs being cut, including public schools and Medicaid.

Republicans, even those who also favor a cigarette tax hike like Rep. Dennis Lake of Blackfoot, say there just wasn’t support this year.

At Monday’s meeting, Cory Jackson of Capitol Distributing contended hiking the tax would drive more people to the black market.

But Andrea Shipley of Idaho Community Action Network said her members are “angry” Idaho would cut budgets before even considering a cigarette tax hike.

source: The Associated Press

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