Legislators call for tobacco tax hikes


Anti-tobacco advocates are backing three bills slated to appear before the Oregon Legislature in the coming weeks.

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Anti-tobacco advocates are backing three bills slated to appear before the Oregon Legislature in the coming weeks.

The concept of a tobacco tax increase hasn’t come up in Oregon in nearly 10 years. It could bring significant new revenues in times of widespread budget shortfalls.

House Bill 2110 calls for a $1 increase; House Bill 2231, sponsored by Rep. Mitch Greenlick (D-Portland), proposes a $1.25 increase, while House Bill 2355, backed by Rep. Phil Barnhart (D-Lane County and Linn Counties, House Revenue Committee Co-Chair), calls for a $2.42 tax hike.

Money raised from the taxes, which by some projections would generate $245 million in additional revenue over the next two years, would fund the state’s Tobacco Use Reduction Account, which offers community-based prevention and cessation programs, and also distribute money to the Oregon Health Plan and the Department of Transportation’s Elderly and Disabled Special Transportation Fund.

Read more at The Lund Report.

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