Florida legislature pass budget with tobacco tax hike..

May 11, 2009 - Florida legislature approved a $1 per pack increase on cigarettes along with a $1 per ounce tax on smokeless tobacco. The tobacco tax will raise an estimated $900 million next year, if signed into law by the governor. Governor Charlie Crist at a town hall meeting in Pensacola said he probably will sign into law the $1-a-pack increase in the state's cigarette tax, which is now $34 cents. Crist initially had opposed it.

It was opposed by the tobacco lobby, but not aggressively, and was pushed heavily by hospitals and Florida's lung, cancer and heart associations. It registered 60 to 70 percent approval ratings in recent public opinion polls.

It was a bipartisan effort to raise Florida's tax (levy, user fee, surcharge) on tobacco products for the first time in two decades.

Paul Hull with the American Cancer Society: "It’s going to save lives, and most importantly, it’s also going to protect kids. Over 300,000 kids will never take up a cigarette because of this measure today." (Two Billion in New Fees by Mike Vasilinda Capital News Service, 5/8/2009)

Reference: Lawmakers needed an extra week, but they finally approved a new state budget.., myfox-tampabay.com, 5/8/2009; Florida budget passes, includes cigarette tax increase, pay cuts for state workers, Danette Pelletier, Tampa Headlines Examiner, Examiner.com, 5/9/2009.

Related news brief: http://snus-news.blogspot.com/2009/04/april-26-2009.html; Florida - House may accept Senate's $1-per-pack increase in a cigarette tax..; Florida senate votes 39-0 to raise tobacco tax..; Florida cigar makers fuming over possible tax increase..; Florida - besides tobacco tax increase Senate wants to restrict tax-free sales..; Florida Senate panel backs tobacco tax hike..; Florida tobacco tax hike gets 1st critical vote today.., Tobacco Free Florida Week - 2/27/2009 - 3/7/2009.., Florida's $2.3 billion deficit - increase tax on cigarettes???; States Need Quick Influx of Revenue – Think Tobacco Tax..; Times are Tough Save Money Quit Smoking...



May 14, 2009 at 5:41 AM

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