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Tobacco

Cigarette, Gas Taxes Go Up in Illinois

Governor says increases will fund education, infrastructure
Photograph: Shutterstock

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. The price of tobacco products and gasoline went up in Illinois in July, with the projected $45 billion in proceeds to fund road and infrastructure improvements, as well as the state’s education needs, WGN-TV reported.

The state raised the cigarette tax for the first time since 2012. The $1-per-pack increase will mean smokers will pay $2.98 per pack in state taxes. An additional 15% tax on e-cigarette sales was also a part of the measure.

The revenue from the new cigarette tax will go toward construction projects at public schools, including universities and colleges.

On a related note, Illinois recently raised the minimum age for purchasing cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes from 18 to 21.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, said the revenue from the gasoline tax will repair what’s broken and build what’s needed. “Frankly, it’s all in the [bill’s] name: ‘Rebuild Illinois,’ ” he said.

The gas-tax increase, the first since 1990, will double the current tax from 19 cents per gallon to 38 cents, costing the average driver about $100 more per year, state agencies reported.

Among the infrastructure projects targeted for funding include Chicago’s Kennedy Expressway and elevated train stations.

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