BATON ROUGE -- A proposal for a $1-per-pack cigarette tax increase was snuffed out by the House Ways & Means Committee in an 11-7 vote Tuesday, signaling probable doom for any proposals to generate major new sources of tax revenue during the current lawmaking session.
House Bill 75 by Rep. Karen Carter Peterson, D-New Orleans, was projected to raise nearly $200 million annually in state revenue while reducing consumption of the cancer-causing products. It encountered opposition in Gov. Bobby Jindal's stance against new taxes and from panel members for various reasons.
"Raising the cigarette tax a dollar could place an economic hardship on people at this time," said Rep. Ricky Templet, R-Gretna, who noted lean recessionary times in Louisiana households as a reason for voting against the bill.