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Philip Morris Fights Tobacco Tax

February 26th, 2009 by flanews

Tobacco giant Philip Morris is stepping up efforts to kill a plan to raise the state tobacco tax a dollar.

In March lawmakers will consider the increase. The increase could generate an estimated 750 million dollars in state revenues. The money would be spent on health care. Philip Morris opposes the tax increase and is presenting an alternative plan. Spokesman David Sutton says the state could raise millions by taxing smaller tobacco companies the were left out of the states tobacco settlement.

They’re not paying the tobacco settlement fee that all the other manufacturers, including Phillip-Morris USA, are paying. It’s about 50 cents a pack, we pay now to the state. They are effectively paying zero. On that particular piece, we think a fee of about 40 cents would be appropriate for them to level that playing field in Florida and give the state that revenue towards healthcare reimbursement,” said Sutton.

Smokers are already facing a 61 cent federal tax increase. The states tobacco tax hasnt been raised in Florida since 1990.

Posted in Health, Legislature, State Budget, State News, Taxes | No Comments »

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