Senate Committee Approves Hike in Tobacco Tax

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

The Mississippi Senate Finance Committee has voted to set the cigarette tax at 49 cents a pack, matching the average of the surrounding states.

Mississippi's current tax is 18 cents a pack. The House voted this month to increase it to $1.00 a pack.

The committee vote Wednesday is just a step toward getting a bill to the governor's desk.

Some local smokers say they are not pleased with the proposed increase, but don't see it as a hindrance to buying cigarettes.

"If you smoke, you going to smoke anyway," said Marcus Jones, a smoker in Meridian. "Rather than put 50 cents on it or another $1, you still going to get some cigarettes anyway, because when you need to have a cigarette you're going to get it. "

The full Senate could debate the bill in the next few days, and Finance Committee chairman Dean Kirby said he believes it will pass there. He said he expects the House and Senate to negotiate a final amount.

The Senate proposes using new cigarette tax revenue to head off an increase in car tag prices before July 1.

Tametria Conner contributed to this report.

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  • by Dwight Location: Philadelphia on Mar 1, 2009 at 01:58 PM
    Why don't the Senate put a tax on all alcohol beavage, I have never heard of them even thinking about this tax
  • by S Location: Philadelphia on Jan 29, 2009 at 07:39 AM
    I think it is a good thing to add extra tax to cigarettes. People who don't own land and cars pay less tax than the rest of us. People who smoke have more medical bills too. I think the extra tax should be used for medical cost for those who are unable to pay.
  • by Kathy Location: Philadelphia on Jan 29, 2009 at 03:01 AM
    This is not the answer. As the guy said if you smoke you are going to get cigarettes no matter what the cost (no I don't smoke) and who is going to suffer because of this? CHILDREN!! Parents are going to buy the cigarettes first and if anything is left then the children get it. I know. I have seen this. Parent comes into store and child wants candy but parent says they don't have the money but what happens next? He gets his pack of cigarettes. My heart breaks for the child that would like a dollar candy bar but can't have it because dad is hooked on tobacco and has no desire to try to get off the habit. If you have to smoke fine but remember your kids first and then if you have any money left get you a pack and make them last longer. I am not against smokers I just am against people putting it before anything and anyone else. Wake up people and think of the little ones first then yourself second.
  • by Loretta Location: Meridian on Jan 28, 2009 at 09:45 PM
    cigarettes going up!! and so will the crimes..
  • by sherry Location: mdn on Jan 28, 2009 at 12:51 PM
    I think it is great should go even higher.
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