Possible Cigarette Tax?

By: Amy Gleason
By: Amy Gleason

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
Cigarettes

(July 1, 2002)


State

Tax
Rate

(cents per pack)
Rank
Alabama (1) 16.5 44
Alaska 100 6
Arizona 58 20
Arkansas (2) 31.5 32
California 87 12
Colorado 20 39
Connecticut 111 5
Delaware 24 35
Florida 33.9 30
Georgia 12 46
Hawaii (3) 100 6
Idaho 28 34
Illinois (1) 98 10
Indiana 55.5 21
Iowa 36 27
Kansas 70 16
Kentucky (2) 3 50
Louisiana (3) 24 35
Maine 100 6
Maryland 100 6
Massachusetts 76 14
Michigan 75 15
Minnesota 48 24
Mississippi 18 40
Missouri (1) 17 42
Montana 18 40
Nebraska (3) 34 29
Nevada 35 28
New Hampshire 52 23
New Jersey 150 1
New Mexico           21 38
New York (1) 150 1
North Carolina 5 49
North Dakota 44 25
Ohio 55 22
Oklahoma 23 37
Oregon 68 18
Pennsylvania (3) 31 33
Rhode Island 132 4
South Carolina       7 48
South Dakota         33 31
Tennessee (1)(2) 13 45
Texas 41 26
Utah 69.5 17
Vermont 93 11
Virginia (1) 2.5 51
Washington 142.5 3
West Virginia 17 42
Wisconsin 77 13
Wyoming              12 46
Dist. of Columbia    65 19
(1)
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
imposed.

(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.
Source: www.taxadmin.org
contributed to this report.


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