The New Hampshire House of Representatives has voted to increase the state’s tobacco tax by $.20.
The proposed hike reverses a $.10 cut made in the last legislative session, and adds an extra dime to each pack of cigarettes.
Laurie Sanborn, a Republican from Bedford, says any new revenue from tobacco will hurt businesses along the state’s borders.
“When you raise a tax, you discourage a certain behavior. So with a tobacco tax increase, we are saying, ‘Don’t bother to come to New Hampshire. We don’t want your money.’”
Opponents also say the tax is regressive, since the poor smoke at higher rates.
Supporters point out that even with a $.20 increase, New Hampshire still retains the lowest tobacco tax in the region. And they say that discouraging certain behaviors, including youth smoking, is exactly the goal.
Governor Hassan included a $.30 increase in her proposed budget.