West Virginia House kills tobacco tax hike, stymieing budget

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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.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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