Earlier today, the Louisiana House Ways & Means Committee by 8-7 passed HB 889 which will result in a sharp tax increase for consumers of tobacco products.

 HB 889 would cause Pelican State tobacco consumers to see taxes to rise 50% on cigars, 50% on smokeless tobacco, and the price of a pack of cigarettes rise by 50 cents per pack – a whopping 138% tax increase. This adds insult to injury for taxpayers as it will be levied on top of a new 61-cent hike in the federal cigarette tax passed in Congress earlier this year.
The Ways & Means Committee vote breakdown on HB 889 is as follows:
Damon Baldone
Jane Smith, Vice Chair
Roy Burrell
Cameron Henry
Rickey Nowlin
Mike Donahay
Jonathan Perry
Frank Hoffmann
Jerome Richard
Avon Honey
Joel Robideaux
Girod Jackson
Ricky Templet
Harold Ritchie
Not Present: Taylor Barras, Michael Jackson, Cedric Richmond
Note: The Chair, Hunter Greene, only votes in case of a tie
As Americans for Tax Reform has repeatedly pointed out, tobacco taxes almost always fail to achieve their aims. As tax revenues decrease and new spending commitments mount, legislators will be forced to raise taxes in the coming years for additional revenue.
Now more than ever it is critical to stand up for consumers and taxpayers in opposition to tax increases. In this economic downturn, the burden of larger government will only further depress economic activity. Louisiana families are cutting back their spending habits to live within reduced means. The state should do likewise.
This bill is now goes to the full House. Gov. Jindal, to his credit, has promised a veto.
Click here for ATR’s recent letter to the Louisiana Legislature.