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Cigarette Tax Collections Up

August 10th, 2009 by flanews

State economists say the new tobacco tax has thrown off their revenue estimates.

The state cigarette tax went up a dollar July 1st, but fearing news of the increase would create a surge in sales, stores stocked up. The panic has helped generate 110 million dollars in floor taxes. State economists expected to bring in just 38 million. Amy Baker, the Director of the Florida Department of Economic and Demographic Research, said the surge was unpredictable.

A piece of that floor charge that was higher than we thought came from just business type of changes from the retailers and wholesalers, a piece of it could also be related to individuals buying more to stock up on their own before the new surcharge went into effect, so we believe there is a component of both, said Baker.

The tobacco tax increase was originally expected to generate a billion dollars in new revenue, but economists continue to tweak the estimates.

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