Alcohol Tax On Fast Track To Governor's Desk

A highly debated tax on Kentucky's alcohol industry has cleared another hurdle.

The bill that increases taxes on liquor and cigarettes passed through the state house Wednesday afternoon.

House Bill 144 passed 66 to 34, 6 votes from than the required number for it to pass. The vote followed more than an hour of debate.

Faced with a budget shortfall in the millions of dollars, some lawmakers say alcohol and cigarette taxes is a good short term fix.

Supporters of a 30 cent cigarette tax increase and a 6% alcohol sales tax increase said unless the tax passes, people will suffer.

But others say any tax increase sets a bad example.

Amongst the debate, there was a hint of the possibility of broader reforms to come.

Some only voted for the bill after some leaders said they would be willing to study comprehensive tax reform.

The bill now goes to the senate where leadership says there is enough support to pass. The governor could get the bill by Thursday.

If the bill passes the senate and is signed by the governor, because of the emergency status of the bill, consumers could be paying the additional 6% by this weekend.


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