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Beshear: Tobacco tax hike could be on table

November 10, 2009

The Courier-Journal is reporting that Gov. Steve Beshear said this morning that he would consider an additional increase in Kentucky’s tobacco tax to help the state’s budget and reduce smoking rates.

From the article

In answering a question about Kentuckians’ relative unhealthiness at a breakfast with Louisville business people, Beshear said the state should “continue to look at increasing our cigarette tax.”

“No question it makes a lot of difference,” he said, referring to the tax’s effect on habits. “We have got a lot of teens smoking in this state.”

The comment comes the same day that his budget director released figures showing state general fund revenues down 4 percent in October compared to the same time period last year.

Beshear along with several legislative leaders, including House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Senate President David Williams, have previously said that tax increases likely wouldn’t be part of the budget discussions set to begin in January.

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