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Mar 31, 2011 5:55 AM by Nichole Larkey & AP

Lawmakers propose 70-cent cigarette tax hike

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A group of lawmakers, including Senate President Joel Chaisson, is pushing to boost cigarette taxes by 70 cents per pack, with similar increases for cigars and chewing tobacco.
The change would increase the state tax on cigarettes from 36 cents per pack to $1.06.
The tax hike will be considered in the upcoming regular session. It faces a tough battle for passage, with significant Republican opposition and Gov. Bobby Jindal threatening a veto if the bill could get the two-thirds vote it needs.
Supporters of the proposal - led by Bogalusa Rep. Harold Ritchie - say it would help reduce tobacco consumption and raise $178 million annually for the state's budget.
A similar idea failed in the Legislature two years ago.
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House Bill 63 can be found at www.legis.state.la.us

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