The state Senate in Washington has approved a cigarette tax increase of $1 per pack, sending the measure one step closer to the governor’s desk, the Seattle Post Intelligencer reported April 12.
The Senate passed House Bill 2493 by a 28-17 vote. The measures also calls for higher taxes on other tobacco products, but not big cigars.
Lawmakers hope the measure will bring in more than $100 million in new revenues over the next two years; the tax is part of a package intended to close the state’s $2.8 billion budget deficit.
The state will now charge just over $3 in taxes per pack of cigarettes. State Sen. Rodney Tom said that each pack of cigarettes sold costs Washington about $8.50 in medical costs.