Michigan Cigarette Tax Increase Sought

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Michigan Cigarette Tax Increase Sought

LANSING, Mich. -- Gov. John Engler and legislative leaders yesterday officially proposed increasing the cigarette tax by 50 cents.

The increase would raise the state tax on cigarettes from 75 cents to $1.25 per pack, making it the nation's third highest, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The per-pack tax is $1.50 in New York and $1.42 in Washington State. It also would affect other tobacco products, such as chewing tobacco.

The tax hike is expected to generate $107 million a year for the school aid fund and $154 million for other parts of the budget, the Associated Press reported.

The additional revenue would help lawmakers balance the $350 million general fund shortfall for the upcoming budget year, the report said.