Governor Paterson Just Might Raise the Cigarette Tax

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If there are any New Yorkers left who haven't starting buying their cigarettes on the black market, the time to start may be here. Governor Paterson said today that he hasn't ruled out the possibility of raising the state's $2.75 per pack cigarette tax.

"We're not increasing any personal income taxes," Paterson told 106.9 FM in Syracuse. "If things get rough, we might go back to a cigarette tax that would be devoted to health care. We would think about doing that."


A new tax would have the primary goal of raising money to prevent health care cuts. But it may also result in smokers spending their money in New Jersey, Indian reservations or on the Internet, which would be unacceptable. If anyone is going to make money off the backs of New Yorkers committing slow suicide, it should be New York!

Gov. Paterson threatens to raise taxes on cigarettes to cover health care costs [NYDN]