Pennsylvania - state deficit, time to tax smokeless tobacco and cigars..

March 21, 2011 - Pennsylvania’s 2011 budget is $28 billion, and there is already a projected deficit for 2012 of $5 billion Education is hit with the worst of the cuts — a $1.2 billion funding reduction.

Franklin & Marshall College survey found that there is little support for raising the state's income tax (27 percent) and the sales tax (36 percent). However, 62 percent favored taxing the companies that extract and sell natural gas from the Marcellus Shale, and 72 percent favor taxing smokeless tobacco and cigars.

Pennsylvania is the only state that doesn't tax smokeless tobacco, and it is one of just three that don't tax cigars. The commonwealth just also happens to be the only major producer of natural gas that does not impose a severance tax. In 2009, Smokefree Pennsylvania estimated that taxing cigars, chewing tobacco and moist snuff would produce about $54 million in revenue.

Related news briefs:
July 6, 2010 - Pennsylvania - no state tax on cigars and smokeless tobacco products..;
September 16, 2009 - Pennsylvania - Republican legislators still refuse to tax tobacco products other than cigarettes..;
May 25, 2009 - Camel ORBS flavored candy shaped tobacco pellets..

Reference: Money Matters,Beaver County Times,, 3/20/2011.