KCUR News
10:36 am
Mon December 21, 2009

Kansas Governor Will Likely Push for Tobacco Tax Increase

Topeka, KS – Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson is likely to push for increasing the state's tobacco tax in the coming legislative session, to make up for a budget shortfall.

He says Kansas could face a deficit of more than 300 million dollars in the coming fiscal year.

"Raising cigarette taxes is good public policy," Parkinson said. "It not only raises money, but it also reduces teen smoking. The studies are quite clear that in states where cigarettes are expensive, teens do not smoke as much as in states where cigarettes are cheap. And so I think it would be very good public policy to raise our tax at least to the national average."

The cigarette tax in Kansas is currently 79 cents per pack. The national average is more than a dollar and thirty cents per pack.
Parkinson has said he'll push for new sources of revenue, to avoid more cuts to programs like Medicaid and education.