Miss. governor wants more tobacco taxes considered

Published 6:25 pm Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Gov. Haley Barbour is asking lawmakers to pass a $90 million hospital tax and consider other ways to generate revenue from tobacco companies.

Barbour says if lawmakers ignore his proposals, agencies’ budgets could be cut significantly next year even with Mississippi’s share of stimulus money.

Barbour spoke to lawmakers Wednesday before they were to reconvene to handle budget bills.

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Barbour says he won’t veto a proposal to increase the cigarette excise tax from 18 cents to 68 cents a pack. But he says lawmakers should also change the way smokeless tobacco is taxed and put a larger tax on cigarettes made by companies that don’t pay into the lawsuit settlement Mississippi reached with major tobacco companies in the 1990s.