Associated Press Published

Cigarette Tax Hike, Other West Virginia Laws Taking Effect

Cigarette, tobacco

  Cigarettes are getting more expensive in West Virginia.

To balance the state budget, West Virginia will raise its cigarette tax by 65 cents to $1.20 a pack starting Friday. E-cigarette and other tobacco product taxes will also increase. The hike is expected to raise $98 million annually.

The move helps fill a budget hole left by sputtering coal and low natural gas prices.

July 1 starts the budget year, and several other laws also are taking effect.

Coal and natural gas producers will get a tax break of $110 million combined. They had been paying surcharges to cover a workers’ compensation debt for years.

A right-to-work law is kicking in. New and updated collective bargaining agreements starting Friday can’t require workers to pay union dues as a condition of employment.