Slow recovery or not, here’s one type of tax many jurisdictions have no fear of raising. State and local cigarette taxes brought in $17.1 billion in 2011, and 19 states plus the District of Columbia have increased cigarette taxes in the past three years. State surcharges on a pack of cigarettes vary widely, from 17 cents in Missouri to $4.35 in New York. But since 2000, only Missouri, North Dakota and California have not increased their cigarette taxes. In 2009 the federal per-pack tax soared too, from 39 cents to $1.01, raising $15.5 billion in 2011. But the federal government also spends $96 billion each year addressing health problems caused by smoking.
Check the per-pack cigarette tax rate in your state by in today’s infographic, above. Then join the discussion below. How do you feel about niche taxes like this that fall exclusively on a certain class of people, whether they’re tobacco users, car renters, or state park visitors?
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