House Dem pushes $1.60 cigarette tax hike

February 7, 2013 • Business

A smoker takes a break outside the Transportation Building at the State Capitol complex Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013 in St. Paul, Minn., where the Minnesota House is hearing a proposal to double the state tax on cigarettes while Gov. Mark Dayton has proposed a 94-cent-a-pack hike. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — An influential Minnesota House Democrat touted her bill Thursday that would more than double the state’s cigarette tax, saying she’s motivated by public health concerns and not additional tax money.

The proposal from Rep. Ann Lenczewski of Bloomington would increase the state’s tax on a 20-pack of cigarettes by $1.60, from $1.23 to $2.83. That’s projected to raise an additional $440 million for the state treasury over two years. But Lenczewski said the main argument for the tax hike centers on studies showing higher-priced cigarettes encourages habitual smokers to quit and discourages others from starting.

“The one thing that potential new smokers are most Login to read more

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