Staunton held a public hearing on Wednesday for the proposed cigarette tax. If passed, cigarettes taxes would raise from 15 cents to 30 cents per package of cigarettes in Staunton.
The city estimates that would bring in $191,000 more money to Staunton each year.
Council members said that the increase is meeting the taxes passed by nearby areas such as Harrisonburg. The idea is to benefit public health. Council member Erik Curren says low income citizens are four times as likely to quit after a tax increase than more affluent citizens. The money would be used to help schools. Some members of the public disagreed with the proposal.
"I just don't think that a tax is something that should be related to a public health issue," says Virginia Kivlighan.
"I feel education is everbody's job, not just a few smokers," said Baldwin Jennings.
City Council will vote on the proposal on May 8.