Opinion

Tobacco tax hike makes sense for several reasons

An editorial from The Exponent Telegram

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — As fiscal conservatives, we’re hesitant to support tax increases, but we find the proposed tobacco tax increases to be policy we can support.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s proposed increase of 45 cents per pack of cigarettes significantly trails what anti-tobacco supporters are requesting. They believe the state’s current 55 cents per pack tax rate is a full $1 lower than the national average.

 Other bills have been introduced to increase the cigarette tax the full $1, as well as increase the “other tobacco products,” such as snuff and chewing tobacco, tax to anywhere from 39 to 50 percent.

We don’t want to say how much the tax should be increased. We’ll leave that to legislators and their staffs, who need to determine what makes the most sense in terms of creating revenue and promoting better health choices.

Our reasons for supporting this tax increase over other proposed tax hikes revolves around several factors…

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