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Cigarette taxes spike today

Published 12:04pm Monday, July 1, 2013

Cigarettes are much more costly in Minnesota today.

New tobacco taxes kicked in Monday. That includes a $1.60 hike in the per-pack tax on cigarettes.

The extra charge brings the total tax to $2.83 per pack. It’s part of a state budget fix, but has also been hailed by public health experts as a way to discourage smoking. Many opposed to it say it’s a regressive tax, as it disproportionately affects lower income Minnesotans, and say it’s unfair to make smokers pay for state budget shortfalls.

Minnesota will have the nation’s sixth highest tax on cigarettes. New York is tops at $4.35.

As part of the tax conversion, retailers must take inventory on packs already in stores. By mid-July they must report their counts to the state and pay a one-time floor stock tax by early September. Floor tax proceeds have been earmarked to pay debt on the new Minnesota Vikings stadium.


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