Tobacco tax hike deferred for now
BATON ROUGE, LA — Several bills that would raise the price of a pack of cigarettes are being put off for now, and smokers are breathing a sigh of relief.
"I am happy. I think it was a little bit too much to begin with. Maybe they can work it out and get it down to a more reasonable price," said smoker Ross Cambron.
While those who don't light up said they would rather see the tobacco tax go up and the income tax fade away.
"I really was excited about the removal of the income tax. But it looks like that's been taken off the drawing board right now. But I think if we ever get a chance to, I think we really need to look at repealing the state income tax. I think that would be better for business," said non-smoker Xavier Hoskins.
With lawmakers pulling the plug on income tax repeals, they're left wondering if a hike on tobacco should move forward this session.
"I don't think there's any appetite to raise cigarette taxes or sales tax, or any other taxes if you don't couple that with the elimination of the income tax," explained Republican representative Hunter Greene
The tobacco tax bills have been deferred until next week. The hike on tobacco products was part of the Governor’s original tax plan. The hope was that the increased revenue from the tax on tobacco would make up for revenue lost to a repeal on income tax.