The outlines of an October special legislative session are starting to come into sight as key players wrestle with one of the steepest economic downturns in state history. State Senator John Arthur Smith, co-chair of the powerful Legislative Finance Committee, is telling insiders that an October special appears inevitable as state tax collections continue a precipitous decline.
The American Heart Association is poised to support a cigarette tax increase that will not only save lives and reduce disease caused by tobacco use, but also raise funds that can be used to further reduce health costs.
Raising tobacco taxes in other states has always reduced smoking and raised revenue. With rising health care costs and budget shortfalls this is the perfect time to raise the tobacco tax.