Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chairman of House Tax Committee Will Sponsor Cigarette Tax

Posted By on Thu, Feb 24, 2011 at 2:44 PM

Blackfoot Republican Rep. Dennis Lake

Republican Rep. Dennis Lake, chairman of the House Committee on Revenue and Taxation, confirmed today that he will sponsor a bill in favor of increasing Idaho's sales tax on tobacco but that it is far from ready. Lake said, if approved, the revenue generated by a proposed increase of $1.25 per cigarette pack would go into a dedicated fund for Medicaid.

“Essentially all of it—95 percent of it,” Rep Lake said before the Tobacco Tax Increase Legislative Summit.

Lake described the bill it as a “moving target.”

“If the bill were brought to the house today it probably would not pass,” said Lake.

Summit attendees included health-care professionals and business owners who would be affected by the proposed increase.

Melinda Turnbull, who works with the developmentally disabled, told Citydesk that she was disappointed that more lawmakers were not at the summit.

“It seems like the majority of the legislators see Idaho as a budget and as money, whereas Idaho is the people too," said Turnbull. "And I don’t think a lot of them see that.” said Turnbull.

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