Smokers To Pay More: Cigarette Tax Hike Wins Final Passage

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Smoking cigarettes in Louisiana will cost more money starting April 1.

         The state Senate voted 33-2 Saturday for a 22-cent per pack cigarette tax hike. That gave the House-approved bill final legislative passage.

         Gov. John Bel Edwards supports the tax increase sponsored by New Orleans Rep. Walt Leger. It's one of many taxes pushed by the Democratic governor in a special legislative session to help balance Louisiana's budget.

         The cigarette tax will rise from 86 cents per pack to $1.08.

         The change will bring in an estimated $11 million for this year's budget and $46 million annually.

         It's the second tax hike on smokers in less than a year. In 2015, lawmakers increased the tax rate by 50 cents. That began July 1.

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