Sen. says cigarette tax boost likely

Published 1:32 am Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mississippi state Sen. David Baria says he thinks a cigarette tax will pass the state House and Senate this coming year as part of an effort to help offset shortfalls in the Medicaid program. The issue put lawmakers and Gov. Haley Barbour at odds last year.

Baria says prospects for the tax are better now, although disagreements persist.

The governor now is backing a cigarette tax increase of 24 cents. Health organizations lobbying for the tax and some lawmakers support as much as a one dollar increase.

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“To cause people to either quit or not start begins at a higher price,” says Sen. Deborah Dawkins.