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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  • by Dean Location: Floyd County on Feb 5, 2008 at 06:24 AM
    I agree with Mr. Watkins about raising the tax on cigarettes. But if I were a betting man, I would bet that Mr. Watkins does not smoke. Well neither do I. Let's think about what other industry we could tax and possibly get even more money. I know, let's tax the liquor industry. I wonder why our legislators have not thought of that before. Maybe its because if we curb cigarette smoking due to the high price of a pack of smokes, maybe more people will quit smoking. That way they will have more money to spend at the casinos as well as on alcohol while they are there.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 5, 2008 at 05:27 AM
    Yea! Smoke 'em if you've got 'em! :)
  • by c Location: fkt on Feb 5, 2008 at 05:04 AM
    If you're going to tax smokers, then it's only fair to tax drinkers too! But that won't happen. Why? because most of the lawmakers drink! They are not going to tax their own habit! I've never seen a smoker kill someone on the roadways by lighting up a cigerette, but I've seen drunks kill others time & time again! It happen again this week, 3 people are dead because of drunks, but are they going to tax alcohol, NO! Raising the SALES tax would be a fairer tax. That way EVERYONE pays, not just a particular group! Also, if they would cut out assistance directors, commissioners & the like in state government, we could save millions every year! But that won't happen either, because those position are campgain payoffs at $3000 per month or more per position & get this, they don't do ANYTHING to earn that money, it's a payoff! I think smokers should sue, if they raise cirgette tax without taxing alochol because they are targeting a particular group which is discrimination!
  • by Andy on Feb 5, 2008 at 04:48 AM
    So== it will be last pack I buy in Kentucky.Leave it to a democrat to try to raise tax'es any where and on what ever they can.They are blood suckers just like vampaires in the movies.
  • by Beer Drinkers Location: Statewide on Feb 5, 2008 at 02:46 AM
    Leave us good ol' beer drinking rednecks alone! Beer is high enough! I do not smoke and can not stand to be around those that do so TAX THE BLEEP OUTTA THEM!
  • by steve on Feb 4, 2008 at 10:32 PM
    I am telling you peaple don"t matter if its a democrat or a republican all ways hold their feet to the fire its our right they work for us
  • by JPB Location: Kentucky on Feb 4, 2008 at 07:52 PM
    Let's get as many people to email this site and let them know how unfair this proposed tax is:http://www.lrc.state.ky.us/whoswho/email.htm
  • by J Location: KY on Feb 4, 2008 at 07:50 PM
    Amen Me! and Steve...I agree..I just don't understand why they don't jump on alcohol like they do cigarettes..Who is benefiting from this? Not the taxpayer that is for sure..
  • by Wow Location: RIchmond on Feb 4, 2008 at 05:58 PM
    @wayne Location: morehead If you think chargin more for an addiction will cause people to quit you need to look at your gas guzzling car. COmmon sense if cigarettes go up so will the theft of cigarettes. In jersey and ny people break into stores and just steal cartons and nothing else cause at $7 a pack its worth it. I do agree with this tax for the reason that smokers destroy their own health and their kids and everyone thats around them that doesnt smoke then get an attitude when you decide to (edited) in their presence. (edited) dont kill people 2nd hand cigarettes do. Lets charge a clean air tax per pack that makes more sense.
  • by Joe Location: Berry on Feb 4, 2008 at 11:50 AM
    The old saying you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. You can offer a man a job but you can't make him work. The rich got rich by screwing or swindling some body else.So this means that they will find a way out of paying taxes. The best option they have is put someone in office or become a politician there selves. So this group of people won't pay or can not pay. So who does this leave the working man and since people can not stick together for any reason any more because of political party or because some friend or family member is rich or on welfare what backing does a group of people have to change anything. These lawmakers were voted in by a majority so let's get a majority together and vote them out.If you don't like the changes that are being made Do something.
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