Smokers in Kentucky could be bracing for a much more expensive trip to the tobacco store.
Part of the plan of a higher tobacco tax is that fewer smokers mean healthier people. But the Governor and his fellow Democrats in the Capital believe taxing cigarettes could pump millions into Kentucky's coffers. The governor says 70 cents is the only way to go.
“If we're going to raise the cigarette tax, then let's do it in a significant enough way that number one, we raise enough revenue, number two, we really affect smoking in teenagers,” says Gov. Beshear, D-Kentucky.
But House Democrats do not appear to be budging on their stance. The House majority floor leader says there are not enough votes in the House to pass a cigarrette tax of 70 cents.
Instead, some lawmakers believe a 25 cent hike along with taxes on certain services along with refinancing the states' debt is the better plan.
“If the votes are not there today for the 70 cent increase, it's because they haven't joined with me to work on it, said Governor Beshear on Monday.
Both sides agree on one thing. That more taxes are needed to fund higher education, teacher salaries, health care and social programs.