Harrisonburg officials don't want to raise other taxes that they've kept historically low. But, with rising costs of capital projects and state budget cuts, some extra money wouldn't hurt.
No definite amount has been set, but Mayor Joe Fitzgerald says he wants a cigarette tax that's great enough to make a difference, but small enough smokers won't go out of town to buy.
"The best thing that could happen from this is that we'll make a couple hundred thousand dollars a year that could go to some essential city needs," said Mayor Fitzgerald. "The worst thing is if the price goes up and a lot of people stop smoking cigarettes. I can live with that."
City Council will discuss the possible tax at its next meeting.
Virginia has one of the lowest cigarette taxes in the U.S.
State Excise Tax Rates on
(cents per pack)
|New York (1)||150||1|
|Dist. of Columbia||65||19|
Counties and cities may impose an additional tax on a pack of cigarettes
in AL, 1¢ to 6¢; IL, 10¢ to 15¢; MO, 4¢ to 7¢; NYC 8¢; TN, 1¢; and
VA, 2¢ to 15¢.
(2) Dealers pay an additional enforcement and administrative fee of 0.1¢
per pack in KY and 0.05¢ in TN. In AR, a $1.25/1,000 cigarette fee is
(3) Several states are scheduled to increase their tax rates further in
2002. HI, another 20¢ on 10/1/02; LA, 12¢ on 8/1/02; NE, 30¢ on
10/1/02; and PA, 69¢ on 7/15/02.
contributed to this report.