Bill would raise cigarette tax to $3 per pack; raise smoking age to 21
January 19, 2018-Indiana State Representative Charlie Brown (D-3), who’s district includes Gary, New Chicago and Lake Station, has proposed raising the cigarette tax by $2.00 per pack. The current Indiana cigarette tax is just under $1.00 per pack ($.995) and would be raised to $2.995 if the proposal were adopted. Additionally, the $2.00 tax increase itself would be subjected to another 14 cents in sales tax making the total tax $3.21. The federal excise tax on cigarettes is $1.01 and is also subject to Indiana sales tax, effectively making the tax $1.08.
According to the centers for disease control and prevention, minorities and low income individuals would be hit hardest by Charlie Brown’s tax plan. Low income individuals smoke at a much higher rate than high income earners, despite steep taxes in many states. Effective January 1, 2018, the State of New York requires a $13 minimum sales price for all cigarettes.
Anti-smoking advocates say that raising cigarette taxes will force individuals to quit.
Brown will be retiring from the Indiana House of Representatives this year and will be running for a seat on the Lake County Council. At this point the Bill has no co-sponsors and was referred to the House Committee on Public Health. No hearing has been scheduled at this point.
House Bill 1380
Introduced House Bill (H)
Authored by Rep. Charlie Brown.
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Cigarette taxes and purchasing age. Increases the cigarette tax from $0.995 per pack to $2.995 per pack and uses the additional revenue ($2 per pack) as follows: (1) Transfers $1 of the additional revenue per pack to the Indiana tobacco use prevention and cessation trust fund to be used for one or more of the following purposes: (A) To emphasize the prevention and reduction of tobacco use by minorities, pregnant women, children, and youth, including youth with serious and emotional disturbances. (B) To encourage smoking cessation. (C) To provide research on issues related to the reduction of tobacco use. (2) Transfers $1 of the additional revenue per pack to the medical residency education fund. Raises the age from 18 years of age to 21 years of age for prohibitions and crimes concerning the sale, purchase, and possession of cigarettes and other tobacco products. Makes a corresponding change to the laws concerning e-cigarettes, tobacco retailer permits, and admission to establishments where smoking is permitted.