CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A push to raise West Virginia’s tobacco taxes has been voted down by a House committee, likely killing a second tax increase proposed by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.
Delegates voted 21-3 Thursday against a bill to raise the cigarette tax by 45 cents to $1, worth $71.5 million yearly.
Delegates opposed a Senate bill including a $1 cigarette increase to $1.55-per-pack, higher taxes on other tobacco products and an e-cigarettes tax.
The Senate version would have yielded $115 million annually.
Tomblin proposed a 45-cent increase and the other tobacco and e-cigarette taxes, worth $78 million annually.
Tomblin spokesman Chris Stadelman called the lack of progress on tobacco taxes disappointing.
Lawmakers didn’t consider Tomblin’s proposed tax on cellphone and landline use, worth $60 million annually.
West Virginia faces a $466 million 2017 budget shortfall.
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