Miss. stores prepare for 50-cent cig tax increase

Published 9:19 pm Thursday, May 14, 2009

Tobacco wholesalers and retailers in Mississippi are scrambling to get ready for a cigarette tax increase that takes effect Friday.

The excise tax is going up 50 cents a pack. It has been 18 cents since 1985, and will be 68 cents.

Legislators approved the tax increase last week, and Gov. Haley Barbour signed the bill Wednesday.

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The Mississippi State Tax Commission has spent the past several days telling distributors and stores how to handle paperwork for the increase.

For cigarettes in stock at either the close of business Thursday or at midnight Thursday into Friday, the wholesalers and retailers will have to pay the state the new 50 cents a pack. That money is due to the Tax Commission by June 15.