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Group Watch 4/27/2012: $1 Cigarette Tax Unlikely

The chairman of the House Ways and Means-General Fund committee said that a $.20 to $.30 cigarette tax would have a better chance of making it out of his committee, but even that amount would be a longshot to make it out of the Alabama House of Representatives. The committee heard testimony on three bills seeking to raise the tax on cigarettes with the proceeds going to help Medicaid, the cash-strapped General Fund or both. Legislative staff estimates that the state would receive an extra $227 million each year if the tax on cigarettes were increased by $1. While most of the testimony was in support of the increased tax, a coastal business person testified that further tax increases will force Alabama smokers to purchase products across the state line.

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