Covering Louisiana

Feb 4, 2013 4:16 PM by Melinda Deslatte/AP

Jindal tax plan expected to include cigarette tax

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Two years ago after strongly opposing a 4-cent cigarette tax renewal, Gov. Bobby Jindal is considering his own larger proposal to raise tobacco taxes.

The Jindal administration has floated the idea to lawmakers for the upcoming legislative session that begins in April, as part of a proposed rewrite of the state's tax code.

Anti-smoking groups are cheering the turnaround, saying it's well past time that Louisiana - whose tobacco taxes are nearly the lowest in the nation - boost costs as a way to discourage smoking.

A cigarette tax hike is being considered in the Republican governor's plans to get rid of the state's personal and business income taxes and raise the state sales tax. But Jindal's office says the whole tax rewrite wouldn't increase state income or shrink it.

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