SC tobacco tax increase - doubt exists maybe NOT this year..

May 4, 2009 - Plans to raise the nation's lowest cigarette tax - 7 cents a pack and has not been increased since 1977 - to generate money for a new health insurance program are expected to move quickly through the senate.

The 50 cent increase would generate $139 million for a new health insurance program for low income workers. It cleared the House with a 97-22 vote last month. Today (May 5, 2009) the bill is expected to be sent to the Senate floor for debate. Because the tax is the same and the concept similar to what the Senate approved last year, supporters doesn't expect delays,

But they're finding no fan with South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, whose veto of a 50-cent tax increase last year killed a similar bill.

Doubts exist because of Sanford's role, the fear of a veto and a planned May 21 adjournment. Senate Minority Leader John Land, D-Manning, "My prediction is nothing will pass this year."

Reference: SC cigarette tax hike bill expected to move fast Jim Davenport, Associated Press Writer, 5/4/2009.

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Image, learn more about the South Carolina Tobacco Collaborative..