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Rendell: 10-Cent Tax Hike For Cigs

Pony up, smokers! Ed Rendell wants a 10-cent tax hike on packs of cigarettes.

Governor Rendell has long been advocating for a tax on cigars and smokeless tobacco products. But now, as he tries to figure out how to plug a $2-billion-plus hole in the state’s budget, spokesman Chuck Ardo says Rendell will also propose increasing the cigarette tax by ten cents a pack:

“I think it’s in response to the economic crisis and the fact that smokers cost the commonwealth a significant amount of money in health-related expenses.”

Yeah, but think how much the state saves from the calmed nerves of smokers. On the plus side for the cigarette smokers in the state, at least every pack they buy will be stimulating the economy. (Rendell’s office says the tax could raise somewhere around $50 million.)

As usual, the new tax will hurt poor smokers the most, but nobody cares about them.

Rendell Wants 10¢-per-Pack Hike in Penna. Cigarette Tax [KYW 1060]

Photo by Valerie Everett used under a Creative Commons license