Hawaii - cigarette and other tobacoo products tax increase.


May 14, 2009 - In Hawaii, the Legislature has approved and Gov. Linda Lingle has signed a 60-cent increase to the cigarette tax, bringing the total cigarette tax to $2.60 per pack beginning July 1. The state cigarette tax will further increase by 20 cents per pack annually in July 2010 and July 2011, reaching a total of $3 per pack.

The Republican governor vetoed bills that would increase state income taxes on the wealthy, the hotel-room tax, the conveyance tax on the sale of luxury and second homes, and tobacco products such as chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco and cigars. The governor signed a bill that increases the state's cigarette tax.The Hawaii House and Senate leaders had the two-thirds' votes necessary to override override the governor’s veto of legislation to increase the tax on most other tobacco products. The bill calls for more than doubling the tax on tobacco products other than cigarettes, including "little cigars," over the next two years. The governor's strongest reason for the veto was its departure from the method that manufacturers, retailers and the federal government ullpost">use in the labeling of large and small cigars, possibly making the new law impossible to enforce.

A mistake in a newly enacted state law is good news for pipe and cigar smokers, as well as those who use snuff and chew tobacco. The error gives them a four-month tobacco tax holiday. (Hawaii Legislature Rushes Tax Bill Through, Accidentally Enacting a Tobacco Tax Cut, writteninfo.com, 5/13/2009.)

Reference: Governor vetoes Hawaii tax hikes
Legislators criticize governor for 'putting on show'
by Derrick DePledge, Honolulu Advertiser, 5/8/2009; Hawaii taxes to go up July 1 as lawmakers override governor by Peter Boylan and Suzanne Roig, Honolulu Avertiser, 5/9/2009.

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