Lawmaker Files Bill For 70-cent Cigarette Tax Boost

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A lawmaker has filed legislation that would increase Kentucky's cigarette tax by 70 cents a pack.

State Rep. David Watkins, D-Henderson, said the measure would generate needed state revenue and discourage people from smoking.

He is proposing that the cigarette tax be increased from 30 cents to $1 a pack.

The Legislative Research Commission estimates that the measure could generate an additional $205 million in tax revenues. The state currently receives $165 million a year from cigarette sales.

Lawmakers have been eyeing the tax increase as a way to help offset a budget shortfall of nearly $900 million over the next two years.

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