It’s quite possible that Georgians could see a spike in their taxes on tobacco use come 2018.
Thanks to a new report released by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, some members of the Georgia legislature could soon begin discussing the idea of raising the excise tax.
The cancer PAC, which lobbies in state legislatures and at the U.S. Capitol, is suggesting Georgia raise its excise tax by at least $1.50 on a pack of cigarettes and health industry leaders aren’t opposed.
Georgia Health News editor Andy Miller believes the additional revenue could help struggling health care providers.
“You could put it into a fund to help rural hospitals in terms of if they have to expand, if they have to upgrade their equipment, recruiting doctors,” Miller says. He believes the idea of raising the tax in Georgia could gain traction soon.
“The political arithmetic is going to be changing in the next year with the gubernatorial election, and so it may take leadership at the top to make this happen,” he says.
Georgians who smoke currently pay $0.37 in taxes per pack of cigarettes and it’s been that way since 2003, but other states like New York charge as much as $4.35 cents a pack.
Only Missouri and Virginia have lower cigarette excise taxes.