Across the United States, Idaho is typically known for two things: Potatoes, and its conservative political tendencies.
Indeed, in 2010, only Wyoming bested the Gem State in terms of “redness.” So, suffice to say, Idaho is no Maryland.
However, it turns out the two states do have something in common: Both are looking at potential big increases in their respective cigarette taxes as legislators get ready for the 2012 session.
As previously noted here, a push is being made in Maryland to raise the state’s tobacco tax by $1 per pack.
Now, Idaho Rep. Dennis Lake, who is the Chair of Idaho’s House Revenue and Taxation Committee, is planning to try again for a cigarette tax hike he pushed last year — with no success. Lake is reportedly looking to raise the state cigarette tax by $1.25 per pack. Proponents claim the proposed tax hike could bring in more than $50 million a year in new revenue, though other states have not always met revenue targets associated with cigarette tax increases.
What would any new revenue be spent on? Based upon reporting by the Idaho Reporter, that remains murky at best. Lake evidently has “no definite plan for spending the money, but says it won’t go to the general fund because some lawmakers don’t want the government to have any more money than is absolutely necessary.”