Tobacco users could soon be forced to pay for yet another tax increase. State Representative Karen Peterson is on a mission to put butts out and dollars back in.
As if the first tax increase werenâ€™t enough for tobacco users, another threat has many wondering is their so-called bad habit worth another dollar. Tobacco users beware, the Louisiana tobacco tax could soon more than double, taking it from $0.36 to $1 if State Representative Karen Peterson has her way. On Tuesday, Peterson along with the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Louisiana announced their plans to stomp out smokers. â€śToday I am filing the Louisiana Healthier Families Act.â€ť
Peterson hopes the bill will discourage future generations from smoking and possibly encourage those who currently smoke to stop. â€śIt will also save tens of thousands of Louisianians from dying prematurely. That alone should be enough to garner the support end the necessary coalition in the legislature.â€ť
On cigarettes alone, Peterson says this tax could bring in more than $200 million to the state. But tobacco business owners like John Jurovich are frustrated with the hikes. Jurovich says the recent state increase pushed his cigar taxes up $0.50. Although he agrees cigarettes can be addictive, he stresses that not all tobacco products are bad and hopes his customers will fight the financial pressure. â€śIâ€™m hoping theyâ€™ll switch from cigarettes to cigars.â€ť
Peterson hopes to use the generated revenue to fill the current budget holes.