Barbour mum on cigarette tax level he’d accept

Published 9:21 pm Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour will not publicly say how large a cigarette tax increase he would be willing to sign into law.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday at the Capitol, Barbour would only say that he wants legislators to use an “honest, realistic” estimate of how much money any tobacco tax increase would generate.

Mississippi’s current cigarette excise tax is 18 cents a pack.

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The House started this year trying to set the tax at $1 a pack, and the Senate started at 49 cents.

House negotiators have gone down to 75 cents a pack for all cigarettes. The Senate has gone up to 64 cents a pack for premium brands and 84 cents a pack for generics.

The bill is House Bill 364.