Maryland Health Group Pushes Cigarette Tax Hike

Earlier this month, news broke that a group calling itself the “Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative” is pushing a $1 per pack cigarette tax hike in the state. Via the AP:

A Maryland health group is planning to push for a $1 increase in the state’s tobacco tax.

The Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative says it will launch the campaign next week in an effort to build public support for increasing the tax to pay for public health needs.

[…]

Maryland last raised its tobacco tax from $1 a pack to $2 a pack during a special session in 2007.

Those who follow consumption tax policy will know that state cigarette tax increases have historically constituted a somewhat unreliable revenue stream.

In the event that Maryland’s legislators follow the group’s recommendations and institute the tax hike, it could fail to deliver the funding the Citizens’ Health Initiative evidently seeks. Recent news has indicated that cigarette smuggling into the state, in several cases involving the sale of cigarettes acquired in Virginia where the cigarette tax is lower, presents an ongoing challenge.

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