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    Kansas Considers Tax Hike

    State faced with revenue shortfall of more than $700 million.

    GREAT BEND, Kan. -- John Edmonds (R-Great Bend) said the state tax committee is considering two tax bills that would raise an estimated $265 million for health care, including a 76-cent per-pack hike on cigarette taxes.

    The bills are said to have little support, however, The (Kan.)Capital-Journal reported.

    "The likelihood that the committee will recommend either of these bills favorably is about nil," Edmonds said.

    Even if the measures aren't passed out of committee, Edmonds said they probably will reappear later as amendments to other bill. State legislators are facing a revenue shortfall of $700 million and are looking for ways to increase revenue. Faced with similar situations, 22 other states have either already raised cigarette taxes or introduced legislation to do so.

    "In the end, we will probably see some sort of tobacco tax increase," Edmonds said.

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