As tobacco sellers feared, Minnesota’s increased tax on cigarettes has dampened sales since taking effect on July 1. Minnesota Public Radio News reported Thursday that early Department of Revenue figures show a double-digit percentage fall in demand for the stamps affixed to each pack of cigarettes over the same period last year.
It’s been a month since the state’s cigarette sales tax increased by more than a dollar and-a-half a pack. That’s brought the total tax on cigarettes to more than $2.80 per pack.
Doctors have been searching for years for a solution to help people quit smoking, and now one factor has helped significantly — the cost. In the first week of Minnesota’s new higher tax on cigarettes, nearly 2,500 Minnesotans visited the Quitplan Services website and 400 people called the hotline for help in quitting.
Starting Monday, Minnesota’s tax on tobacco is the sixth-highest in the country. The tax just jumped to $2.83 from $1.60, making the average pack of cigarettes in Minnesota now $7.51. Lawmakers who upped the tax said they did it not only to raise money, but to get people to quit.
It’s the first day of July, and that means new laws are taking effect in Minnesota. Several of them make changes to funding for state programs. Education funding gets a boost and will now include paying for all-day Kindergarten and a tuition freeze for state schools.
Minnesota’s new $1.60-per-pack sales tax increase on cigarettes begins next week. Meanwhile, retailers are betting smokers will try to switch to a tobacco product not subject to the state’s tobacco taxes: electronic cigarettes.
A big jump in the state’s cigarette tax is still more than two weeks away, but it’s already having a huge impact on smokers. They’re stocking up and changing their habits.
Minnesota lawmakers worked right up to the end Monday before adjourning a session that produced $2.1 billion in tax hikes and a historic vote on gay marriage. The gavel fell after a frenetic final push to wrap up major issues.
Outside downtown office buildings, many smokers didn’t want to talk about the possibility of a tax that will push a lot of cigarettes into the $8-a-pack range. Dan Jones says the tax may be the push he needs “It’s a tax on something that you don’t need… I’m ok with it actually “Jones said. “Who knows, maybe it will finally give me the motivation I need to stop doing it.”
Gov. Mark Dayton is proposing that lawmakers use new revenue from taxes on cigarettes and corporate income to shore up the state’s share of the new Minnesota Vikings stadium. Dayton’s revenue commissioner unveiled the latest proposal Thursday in the House-Senate tax conference committee.
Minnesota’s cigarette tax is about to go up, but a top lawmaker says the new rate won’t be more than Wisconsin’s. Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk says the final tax could match the $2.52 per pack rate charged in Wisconsin. That’s $1.29 more than Minnesota assesses now.
The democrats may be in control at the state Capitol but they certainly cannot agree on how to solve the state’s budget problems.
An influential Minnesota House Democrat is proposing a substantial increase in the state’s cigarette tax.
Two Republican lawmakers want Minnesota’s cigarette tax to more than double as a way to deter smoking and to repay Minnesota schools for aid delays during recent state budgets.
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty inserted himself into the 2011 shutdown debate twice in the last six days.