With $2 billion in overspending estimated for this year, Georgia has joined a disturbingly long list of states looking to smokers to help fill state coffers. House Bill 39 would raise the cigarette tax by $1 per pack and hike the tax on smokeless tobacco products by 150%.
Georgia’s nearby states have an average cigarette tax of just 36-cents per pack. If the tax hike is passed, Georgians will have to pay $1.37 per pack, nearly quadruple that of their neighbors. In a similar situation, Maryland raised the tobacco tax last year to cover a budget projection shortfall. However, the problem was only made worse when sales fell 25% after consumers drove to nearby states with lower tax rates.
Click here for ATR’s letter to Georgia Taxpayer Protection Pledge Signers.