No new cigarette taxes this year
There will be no new tobacco taxes coming out of this year’s General Assembly. As Charles Fishburne reports, three bills died in committee with no discussion.
It means Virginia’s current cigarette tax rate of 30 cents a pack will stay the same. That is the second-lowest rate in the country.
One bill would have raised it to $1.45, another to 80 cents, a third would have enabled all Virginia counties to impose local cigarette taxes.
Tobacco lobbyists have given Virginia candidates a reported 433 thousand dollars in campaign contributions over the past year, and though farm production has declined in recent years, tobacco is still number 10 in the state’s top twenty commodities at about 83 million a year.
It has been so tightly tied to the state’s economy that in Colonial times, it was the original form of currency.
Charles Fishburne, WCVE News