Lawmakers pass tobacco tax increase - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lawmakers pass tobacco tax increase

April 27, 2003

Albany- Lawmakers have tossed the issue back and forth for months, and finally they've made a decision... taxes on tobacco are going up.

The legislation calls for a 25-cent per pack increase on cigarettes, which will mean smokers will pay 37-cents in taxes on each box they buy.

"I think they're penalizing one segment of the population because I'm a smoker, I smoke cigarettes, and I just think it's wrong," says Frank Quaglietta.

An increased tobacco tax is supposed to provide the budget with 180 million dollars. Still some say a tax increase may not have been necessary.

"They probably could have found some other places to cut, but tax increases are always the fall back of everything," claims Donnie Goins.

Others say they don't mind the increase as long as lawmakers don't make cuts in other areas.

"I think it would be good. We do have a lot of smokers and it would help because education has been cut so much and I'm a teacher and we really need. So, I think it was a good thing," explains Lynn Janes.

Like it or not, smokers will have to bite the bullet and dig a little deeper in their pockets if they continue to light up.

The tax bill not only raised the tobacco tax, but also made permanent the sales tax holiday instituted by former Governor Roy Barnes. The bill also included a tax break for seniors effective in 2006.

Posted at 4:50 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com