W. Va. Senate Aims To Increase Tobacco Tax

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A state Senate committee has advanced a bill aimed at increasing taxes on tobacco products while rejecting a proposal for a 1 percent state sales tax increase.

The Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday afternoon rejected the sales tax proposal that would have raised nearly $200 million. But it advanced a bill that would raise about $100 million per year from new taxes on tobacco products.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting reports the bill would increase the cigarette tax by 65 cents per pack and taxes on smokeless and other tobacco products from 7 percent to 12 percent. It also would establish a 12 percent tax on e-cigarettes at the point of sale.

Budget negotiations imploded last week when the House of Delegates killed a tax package for tobacco products worth $76 million.