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Senate Panel Considers Cigarette, Alcohol Tax Increases

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Maarten van Maanen, flickr Creative Commons
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Health advocates and business owners are divided over proposed increases in cigarette and alcohol taxes in Kansas.

The Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee considered the measures on Tuesday. Governor Sam Brownback recommended the moves in January as a part of his budget proposals.

The cigarette tax would jump by $1.50 per pack to $2.29, and the tax paid by consumers at liquor stores would increase to 12 percent, up from 8 percent.

Health advocates testified for the bill, saying that increasing prices is the best way to get smokers to quit.

Representatives of liquor and tobacco businesses testified that the bill would hurt local shops and send shoppers to Missouri.

Chairman and Republican Senator Les Donovan of Wichita said the committee will likely vote on the bill in April.

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