Need for Revenue Drives State Tobacco Tax Increases
Fourteen states and the District of Columbia raised their tobacco taxes last year and Utah and New Mexico have done the same in 2010, USA Today reported March 25.
Six other states also are considering tobacco-tax hikes as states seek added revenues to patch up budget holes. The average state now charges $1.34 per pack of cigarettes in taxes; the federal tax is $1.01 per pack.
Rhode Island has the highest tax, $3.46 per pack, while South Carolina charges just 7 cents per pack. The South Carolina House recently voted to raise the tax to 30 cents per pack, however.
Washington, Georgia, and Kansas are among the other states mulling tax increases.