Wisconsin - Increased Sales Tax Decrease in Smoking..

December 29, 2008 - Last January 2007, Wisconsin a tax increase that went into effect increasing the cigarette tax from 77 cents to $1.77 per pack (a 130 percent increase). One year after the tax increase, statistics show a considerable growth in state revenue brought in by tobacco products. Even with revenue growth, figures suggest the price hike may have nudged some people to snuff out their butts.

Through November of the last fiscal year, Wisconsin brought in $107 million through tobacco taxes, according to the state Department of Revenue. This year, the state collected more than $200 million, or an increase of 87 percent.

Wisconsin's rate of smoking is at 20 percent of the adult population, its lowest level in state history, according to the state Department of Health Services. The state's cigarette tax is now the 15th highest in the nation, according to an October report from the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. Wisconsin would have ranked 33rd had it maintained the 77-cent tax.

Reference: Tax increase on cigarettes contributes to decrease in smoking by Jim Collar for The Northwestern, 12/28/2008.

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