North Carolina - may consider raising taxes on alcohol and cigarettes..

January 24, 2009 - NC Senate leader, Marc Basnight (D-Manteo) proposed raising taxes on alcohol and tobacco products to help prop up crumbling state revenue numbers that could be as much as a $3 billion budget gap. Basnight justified a possible tax increase on tobacco and alcohol by emphasizing the billions of dollars in annual health care costs blamed on those products, citing studies by the Centers for Disease Control and University of North Carolina. Public health advocates have long pushed for increases in North Carolina's cigarette tax to help drive down smoking, particularly among teenagers.

Basnight has unsuccessfully called for such hikes of alcohol and cigarette taxes before, and a similar proposal from then-Gov. Mike Easley fell flat last year. Other Democrats said they would prefer to avoid a tax increase but left open the possibility of raising tobacco or alcohol taxes.

Related news briefs: North Carolina (NC) lawmakers wonder why over 30% of high school students don't graduate??; North Carolina - New Law Requires All Cigarettes Be Self-Extinguishing To Save Lives...; Cigarette Sales Fall BUT Revenues from Higher Cigarette Taxes Increase...; Statewide Smoking Ban Fails to Clear North Carolina..

Basnight offers up a hike in 'sin tax' Drinkers, smokers may feel the sting
Mark Johnson and Benjamin Niolet, Staff Writers, The News & Observer, 1/23/2009.