After a $0.10 cut two years ago, smokers in New Hampshire will again pay an extra dime in tobacco taxes starting today.
Republicans in the statehouse lowered the tobacco tax in 2011, saying the cut would spur cross-border sales and boost state revenues. But tax receipts have come in $56 million lower in the past two years than the prior biennium.
Lawmakers included an automatic trigger to reset the tax if revenues fell, so today, the tax goes back up to $1.78 per pack.
Ed Miller with the American Lung Association called the reduction misguided, and wants to see an even bigger increase.
"It is the most effective tool that we have for reducing youth smoking and New Hampshire has not only the lowest cigarette excise tax in the Northeast, but also has the highest youth smoking rate. Those two factors are related," says Miller.
Even with the extra dime, New Hampshire’s tobacco tax remains the lowest in the region. Massachusetts is set to raise their tax today by a full dollar.