Senate Republicans won’t include an increase in the state’s cigarette tax in their budget proposal.
Advocacy groups – everyone from the Indiana Hospital Association and State Medical Association to the Indiana Chamber of Commerce – have argued for years that the state needs to reduce the number of Hoosiers who smoke.
And study after study shows that raising the cigarette tax by at least $1 per pack can do that.
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The House Republican budget included a 50 cent hike. But Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) said his caucus isn’t prepared to do even that.
“Obviously it’s a very regressive tax and so we want to be cognizant of that,” Bray said.
Bray said the Senate GOP budget (which will be unveiled next week) will likely impose a new tax on e-cigarettes, which he said brings them into parity with traditional cigarettes.
Indiana lawmakers haven't increased the state's cigarette tax since 2007.