WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | News

NH, RI, NJ buck trend, propose cigarette tax cut

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - New Hampshire, New Jersey and Rhode Island are bucking a national trend of raising cigarette taxes and have considered reducing theirs in the hopes of drawing smokers from other states and increasing revenue.
New Hampshire politicians on Thursday passed a bill that would cut the state's cigarette tax by a dime to $1.68 per pack.
Supporters argue reducing the tax would make New Hampshire more competitive with Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts. Opponents say even if the state experienced higher sales as a result it still would lose millions of dollars in revenue.
University of Illinois at Chicago economics professor Frank Chaloupka (chuh-LOOP'-kuh) says it's unusual for states to lower the tax. He says the increase in sales isn't enough to offset the drop in state tax revenue.

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