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West Virginia House Kills Tobacco Tax Hike

May 24th, 2016 by WCBC Radio

The West Virginia House of Delegates has killed a key tax hike on cigarettes and other tobacco products, stymieing budget negotiations. The 44-55 vote on Tuesday occurred during the GOP-led Legislature's seventh day of budget session. Each day of session costs $35,000. The bill would have raised taxes on cigarettes by 45 cents a pack to $1. It would have also increased taxes on other tobacco products. Many Democrats and some Republicans opposed the legislation. A similar version previously passed the Senate. The tax hikes were expected to raise about $76 million annually. Lawmakers need to cover a $270 million budget gap. Without a budget plan before July 1, the state would go into a government shutdown. Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin called lawmakers into session May 16.

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