FRANKFURT, Ky. – The decision by Kentucky lawmakers to raise the cigarette tax 50 cents per pack to $1.10 became a market reality last month.
Brent Obermark, owner of Bentley’s Fine Cigars and Tobacco Barn, Paducah, Ky., is apprehensive, according to NBC affiliate WPSD Channel 6.
“We’re cheaper than Illinois, so we get a lot of Illinois traffic,” he told the news station. “We’re more expensive than Missouri and now Tennessee, so we might lose some business to those states.”
In April, a single vote in the state Senate turned a proposed tax increase into law in Kentucky, after a contentious back-and-forth between legislators and Gov. Matt Bevin, according to NATO, Lakeville, Minn.
Both the Senate and Kentucky’s House of Representatives originally adopted the measure April 2. Then on April 9, Bevin vetoed it. Four days later, the House voted 57-40 to override the veto, with the Senate subsequently approving the override by a vote of 20-18.
With such a close vote, NATO officials said the Senate would have defeated the bill if one approving Senator had voted no.
The 50-cents-per-pack increase became effective July 1.
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