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    Kentucky Voters Favor Tax Hike

    State's three cents per pack tax is the nation's second lowest.

    FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Voters think Kentucky should raise the tax on cigarettes to get money for education and social services, even if the poor pay it disproportionately, a poll indicates.

    Those surveyed also opposed an expansion of gambling in general, though they were narrowly divided on specific issues of slot machines at racetracks and the granting of a few licenses for riverboat casinos, according to an Associated Press report.

    The poll was of 600 voters who said they definitely or probably would vote on Nov. 4. It was conducted by telephone for the Associated Press and four other news organizations -- the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, The Daily News of Bowling Green, WDRB-TV in Louisville and WKYT-TV in Lexington. The margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

    Fifty-nine percent of those polled said the excise tax on cigarettes should be increased. Nearly as many, 57 percent, favor a raise in the tax even when faced with the argument that it would disproportionately tax the poor. Seven in 10 who favored an increase said the money should go to education and to programs for the elderly and poor.

    Kentucky's tax, 3 cents per pack, is the nation's second lowest.

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