For the last six years, Dennis Boudreaux has watched customers come from as far away as Virginia Beach to buy cigarettes at his store in Isle Of Wight County.
They are the cigarettes kent in Virginia because there is no local tobacco tax but if that changes Dennis won’t have a choice, he will have to raise his prices.
“We have to pass on the cost directly to the customer.”
You can blame it on International Paper closing down the mill in Franklin. County commissioner Phil Bradshaw says that will cost the county over 7 million dollars in the next two years. Bradshaw says it’s either a tax on tobacco or a higher tax on real estate.
“We are not trying to tax any business out of business we are just trying to provide an opportunity where we don’t have to impact people who own homes and everything and to raise the real estate tax.”
One look at the signs tells you what to need to know. In Isle of Wight, a carton ofmarlboro cigarettts will cost 35 dollars. The cost in porstmouth is 47, a 12 dollar difference, so you can understand why smokers are nervous.
“They shouldn’t tax. They tax enough; I mean everything about cigarettes you can’t smoke in restaurants you can’t some outside.”
Tebbie Tyree drives here from Portsmouth for her cigarettes and wants the prices to stay low. Phil Bradshaw said the tax shouldn’t be more than 10 or 20 cents a pack. He’s afraid if it isn’t cigarettes it might be something like property instead, and no one wants that.
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