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Utah Governor Likely to Allow Tobacco Tax

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A new $1-per-pack tax on cigarettes is likely to become law in Utah after Gov. Gary Herbert indicated that he would not veto a measure containing the tax legislation, the Salt Lake Tribune reported March 12.

State lawmakers incorporated the tax into a budget bill that contains many programs that Herbert — who has pledged not to support any new taxes — favors. “Politics is the art of compromise,” Herbert said. “Public education is my No. 1 priority. Am I going to come down on the side of education or am I going to veto the tobacco tax? I can't do both.”

Backers of the tax increase expect it to generate $44 million for the state budget. The measure will become law if Herbert does not act on it by March 31.

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