Tobacco taxes could help struggling state budgets

by Shieva Salehnia

With a mere 18 cent tax on tobacco, Mississippi has one of the lowest cigarette taxes in the country. However, Gov. Haley Barbour, who has long opposed an increase to the tax, is now working with Mississippi lawmakers to discuss just how much the tax should be increased. And Mississippi is not alone, as 20 other states are looking at tobacco as a revenue source in the struggling economy, according to the New York Times.

DFLers in the Minnesota House of Representatives recently have proposed a plan cutting spending and a tax increase of $1.5 billion.

Minnesota Public Radio reports that specific taxes to be implemented have not been released, but a tax on clothing could be the first.