A Dollar a Pack

By: Anna Wagnild
By: Anna Wagnild

A recent study conducted by the Wisconsin Hospital Association and the American Cancer Society found the a majority of state residents would support an increase in the cigarette tax.

The state legislature may soon consider a bi-partisan proposal to increase the cigarette tax from $.77 to $1.77.

One of the bill's co-sponsors says the increase could mean an additional $250 million for the state's ailing Medicaid program, but the bill's ultimate goal is to stop kids from smoking.

"For every 10 percent increase in a pack of cigarettes, there's a 7 percent decrease in the number of kids who start to smoke," says Assemblyman J.A. Hines, a Republican from Oxford.

Opponents say smokers will instead purchase their cigarettes from neighboring states or Indian reservations, or off the Internet.

Gov. Jim Doyle says he won't sign the bill unless the money would go to fund education, shared revenue with local governments and limit property taxes.

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