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Dem offers doomed bill to boost Va cigarette tax

Tuesday - 1/17/2012, 4:15pm  ET

RICHMOND, Va. - A Democratic legislator is proposing a nearly fourfold increase in the state's cigarette tax, a measure that the General Assembly's dominant Republicans have labeled as dead at birth.

A bill by Del. Patrick Hope of Arlington would increase the per-pack tax on cigarettes from 30 cents to $1.45. It would increase the excise tax on other tobacco products from 10 percent of the wholesale price to 50 percent.

Ninety-two percent of the revenue, or about $265 million a year, would be directed to city and county governments to provide relief for the personal property tax on private cars and pickup trucks.

About $23 million a year from the tax would be used for smoking prevention and cessation programs.

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