Cigarette tax hike deferred, but renewal approved
BATON ROUGE, La. - A Bogalusa lawmaker has scrapped his proposal to boost Louisiana's cigarette tax, in the face of stiff opposition from the governor and Republicans.
But Democratic Rep. Harold Ritchie successfully persuaded the House Ways and Means Committee to renew an expiring 4-cent per pack state cigarette tax, despite opposition from Gov. Bobby Jindal and tea party groups.
The committee voted 10-5 Monday to renew the current tax and agreed 8-7 to let Ritchie defer his proposal to increase the tax by 70 cents per pack.
Ritchie could try to bring up the tax increase bill later this session, but he acknowledged it would be unlikely to pass.
The tax renewal bill heads next to the full House for debate.