Cigarette Tax Hike Clears Mississippi Senate

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

A cigarette tax increase has moved another step through the Mississippi Legislature.

The state Senate voted 42-7 Thursday to increase the excise tax to 49 cents a pack, up from the current 18 cents.

The House voted earlier this month to increase the tax to $1 a pack.

The taxes on cigars and smokeless tobacco would not change under either the plan.

At this point, the House could accept the Senate's proposal for 49 cents a pack. But lawmakers say it's more likely that the two chambers will start negotiations to reach a compromise amount.

Gov. Haley Barbour says he supports an increase of 24 cents a pack for premium cigarettes and 43 cents for off-brands.

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