The Mississippi House of Representatives will not consider passing a tobacco tax increase until the House reconvenes 4 p.m. Monday. Yesterday, the House Ways and Means Committee approved House Bill 364, which would raise the excise tax on cigarettes from 18 cents per pack to $1 per pack. The tax hike does not apply to cigars or other tobacco products. The House a adjourned Friday morning without considering HB 364.
A longtime opponent of a cigarette tax-increase, Gov. Haley Barbour has indicated that he would now support recently changed positions. He has called for a smaller increase, however, of 24 cents for premium brands and 43 cents for brands not covered by the state's tobacco company lawsuit settlement.
Barbour has fought a long hard fight to keep the comforts coming for the tobacco industry. This is the price an X-Lobbyist must pay. You can't be a cross bearer for your tobacco rich buddies and carry a banner for the citizens of the state.