A looming tax hike on cigarettes has led to booming business at tobacco shops across Minnesota. The cigarette tax jumps $1.60 per pack in three weeks, and customers are preparing by stocking up on dozens of cartons.
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An influential Minnesota House Democrat is proposing a substantial increase in the state's cigarette tax. Rep. Ann Lenczewski of Bloomington wants to more than double the state's cigarette tax by $1.60 a pack, from $1.23 to $2.83.
Smokers in Minnesota start paying another penny a pack for cigarettes starting Monday, as an annual adjustment in the state's cigarette tax takes effect. State law requires the cigarette sales tax to be adjusted each year to reflect inflation and current retail prices.
The American Cancer Society is pushing for a tax increase on cigarettes as a way to help solve the state's budget deficit. The organization is mobilizing volunteers to contact lawmakers and the governor and ask them to consider a $1.50 tax increase on a pack of cigarettes.
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