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Tobacco Tax On Fast-Track

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—On the same day Speaker Mike Hubbard was attending a motions hearing in his felony corruption case, a bill to increase tobacco taxes was dropped in the House.

On April 30, Rep. Patricia Todd introduced legislation to increase State tax on tobacco products. 

The bill is being fast-tracked and will appear in the House Ways and Means General Fund Committee today. Perhaps, coincidental to the bill, is the high-level rumor that Hubbard has told Gov. Robert Bentley that he would support his tax package in return for the Governor’s agreement of an exclusive gaming compact with Poarch Creek Indians (PCI).

Todd’s bill would increase the tax on cigarettes from $.425 a pack to $.675 a pack and provide for its distribution.

It would also increase the tax on cigars, cheroots, stogies, smoking tobacco, chewing tobacco, snuff, or any substitute.

Todd was contacted, but has yet to return our request for comment.

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Bentley has proposed taxing cigarettes at $.82 cent per pack for a total $1.25. Todd’s bill falls short of that number, but would greatly increase State revenue generated by a tobacco tax.

Over the past four years, the Republican supermajority has refused to grant the Democrats’ call for an increase in tobacco taxes. It will be interesting to watch and see if there is a change of heart, and what might be driving it.

Written By

Bill Britt is editor-in-chief at the Alabama Political Reporter and host of The Voice of Alabama Politics. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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