South Carolina - Tobacco Tax Increase Killed - State House Fails to Override Governor's Veto..

June 1, 2008 - The plan to raise the state's lowest-in-the-nation cigarette tax from 7-cent per pack to 57 cents was defeated 54-57 Tuesday (May 27, 2008) when the House fell some 20 votes short of the two-thirds needed to override a veto by Gov. Mark Sanford. The plan would have generated an estimated $159 million but lawmakers can't agree on how the money should be spent. Governor Sanford, "We've been calling for an increase to the cigarette tax for five years, but the question has always been what happens to the money." Advocates for raising the tax stated that the bigger issue: a higher tax means fewer kids, teens and adults smoking and a healthier state. The group's spokeswomen, Kelly Davis, noted if lawmakers cannot agree on how to spend this money then raise the tax and decide later. References: Governor Vetoes Cigarette Tax and Raising the cigarette tax: Anger in debate’s ashes by JOHN O’CONNOR,, 5/29/2008. See related news briefs: Tobacco Tax Increase – What’s Wrong with South Carolina?? and In 2008 will the politicians do what's right for the State of South Carolina??. Click on image to enlarge..