Utah Tobacco Tax Hike Passes

SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah Governor Gary Herbert let a $1 per-pack cigarette tax increase go into law without his signature, The Associated Press reported.

That tax, part of House Bill 196, also raise taxes on a number of tobacco products. The tax on cigars will increase from 35 percent to 86 percent of the manufacturer's sale price, while the tax on moist snuff will rise from 75 cents to $1.83 per ounce, according to the report.

Herbert repeatedly said he opposes increasing taxes, but the tobacco tax was built into the budget to which he and legislative leaders agreed, the AP reported. And Herbert said in a statement earlier this week that it would be fiscally irresponsible for him to veto the tax, as it would create an imbalance in the state budget, particularly in the areas of public and higher education, the report stated.

The tax takes effect July 1.

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