WVU Study Details Tobacco Tax Impacts

Mar 1, 2016

Credit nikkytok / Dollar Photo Club

The Joint Select Committee on Tax Reform released results Tuesday from a study analyzing potential changes to tobacco tax policy in West Virginia.

The study was put together by the West Virginia University Bureau of Business and Economic Research. The report analyzes various changes to the tax rate on cigarettes, as well as potential purchasing declines as a result of an increased tax.

The report estimates that a 45-cent increase in the current 55-cent per pack tax on cigarettes would lead to a 6 to 12 percent decline in purchases, with an overall tax revenue increase between $60 million and $69 million.

A $1 increase in the tax was projected to cause a 14 to 27 percent decline in cigarette purchases, resulting in an increase of revenue between $101 million to $134 million.

The Senate has already passed a bill that would increase the tobacco tax by $1 per pack. The Finance Committee of the House of Delegates is scheduled to take up the Senate's bill on Thursday.