Idaho’s Cigarette Tax Up for Grabs in 2015
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — With Idaho’s $120 million Capitol renovation nearly paid off, there’s a scramble for $11 million in annual tobacco tax revenue that come 2015 will no longer be needed to finance the improvements. Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter wants the cash, from the 56-cent tax paid when somebody buys a pack of cigarettes, to help pay the state’s share of Medicaid. But House Majority Leader Mike Moyle launched his own plan Friday. The Republican says the coveted cigarette-tax revenue to go toward highways and water projects instead. Otter says there’s ample reason to dedicate cigarette revenue to health insurance for poor people, since many have tobacco-related illnesses. But Moyle says Idaho’s roads and drought-plagued agriculture-based economy should take precedent.