Cigarette tax increase stalls
BATON ROUGE - An attempt to raise cigarette taxes by $1.05 per pack has stalled in the House tax committee.
Bogalusa Rep. Harold Ritchie pulled his proposal before a vote Monday, saying he knew he didn't have the support to advance the measure to the House floor. It would have raised cigarette taxes from 36 cents per pack to $1.41.
Supporters of the tobacco tax hike say it would reduce smoking and smoking-related illnesses while also generating much-needed money for the state budget.
Opponents say increased taxes don't drop smoking levels. They say the tax increase could harm revenue at convenience stores. Many opponents also disagree philosophically with raising taxes.
Gov. Bobby Jindal said he'll veto any tax hike that isn't offset with tax reductions elsewhere.