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Another casualty of the Annapolis breakdown: Cigar, smokeless tobacco taxes
A special session of the legislature is definitely needed to prevent the disastrous "doomsday budget" from taking effect — but it is also needed to enact the life-saving tobacco tax increase, which like the proposed income tax increase failed to gain final General Assembly approval by midnight on April 9. The House and Senate revenue conferees had agreed that the tax on little cigars should be increased from its very low present rate of 15 percent of the wholesale price (which was comparable to the 1999 cigarette tax of 36 cents per pack) to 70 percent and that the tax on smokeless (chew or spit) tobacco should go from 15 percent to 30 percent. While the tax on smokeless tobacco was not as high as Gov.Martin O'Malleyhad proposed or we had wanted, the General Assembly should enact at least what the conferees agreed upon.
April 17, 2012