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Coalition Looks At Raising Idaho Tobacco Taxes

A coalition of Idaho health groups is vowing to try once again to convince lawmakers to raise the state’s tax on tobacco. And like last year, those groups have the backing of Rep. Dennis Lake, chairman of the House Revenue and Taxation Committee. The Blackfoot Republican says winning support for a tax hike will be challenging given the state’s improved revenue picture. The Idaho Business Review reports groups led by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network are pressing to boost the tax on tobacco products by $1.25. Idaho’s tax is now at 57 cents per pack, eighth lowest nationwide. The additional money would raise an estimated $50 million for smoking cessation and other health programs. An attempt to raise the tax in the 2011 Legislature failed to gain momentum.

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