Kentucky raises taxes on cigarettes..

February 16, 2009 - Governor Steve Beshear signed legislation Friday, 2/13/2009 that will raise taxes on cigarettes an extra 30 cents, and a six percent tax will be added to all alcohol sales.

Kentucky, which leads the nation in adult smoking, taxes cigarettes at 30 cents a pack, one of the lowest rates in the nation. This state has the nation's highest rate of lung-cancer deaths and some of the highest rates of heart disease, stroke, premature births and other smoking-associated ailments. Kentucky had high rates of five cancers: lung, larynx, kidney, esophageal and cervical.

Kentucky lawmakers are hoping that this tax increase will make up for a $456 million shortfall in this fiscal year. They say that the increase in the cigarette tax will generate $81.5 million per year, and the six percent sales tax on alcohol would generate an additional $97.9 million.

Kentucky is the nation's largest producer of burley tobacco and dark fire- and air-cured tobaccos.

Reference: KY cigarette, alcohol taxes going up by Cory Stark, - NBC-14, 2/13/2009.

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