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General Assembly Considers Raising Cigarette Tax

By Kevin Robinson in News on May 7, 2010 3:40PM

A proposal to raise the cigarette tax by $1 passed committee in the Illinois House yesterday, as the Human Services Committee voted 4-3 in favor of the tax hike. Supporters of the measure say the increase will add funding to schools in the state, generating over $300 million a year to state coffers. All Republicans on the committee voted against the measure, doubting that the funds will actually go to fund schools. If enacted, the tax will be phased in over two years, with a 50-cent hike on September 1 this year, and again next year. Bill Fleischli, executive vice president of the Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association/Illinois Association of Convenience Stores said in an op-ed in the State Journal-Register that the tax will drive smokers out of state and to the internet for their fix.