NH News
3:51 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Bradley Says Senate Republicans Would Push Back On Higher Cigarette Taxes

Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley
Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley

Revenues have fallen millions of dollars short of what lawmakers projected when they lowered the tax on cigarettes by 10 cents two years ago. The theory was lowering the tax would boost sales.

Assuming revenues continue to miss the mark, a sunset provision will kick in and the tax will automatically be reinstated on July 1.

Appearing on NHPR’s The Exchange on Friday, Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley says Republicans in the Senate are not likely to fight that measure.

"Now if there’s an additional proposal to raise the cigarette tax, that will generate some debate," Bradley says.

He says Republicans expect to know how Governor Maggie Hassan plans to pay for new spending, such as restoring cuts made in the last budget to the state university system.

One potential source of revenue is expanded gambling, which Bradley believes has a reasonable chance of passing this year.

“There is an opportunity without new taxes to potentially have a revenue source. It’s going to be controversial, I’m not saying I support it mind you, I’m just being practical," he says.

Bradley believes Hassan’s proposal to double the research and development tax credit would pass the Senate unanimously.