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    Md. Seeks to Double Cigarette Tax

    Increase would be first since 30-cent rise in 1999.


    BALTIMORE -- Maryland joined the growing list of states to introduce a proposal to increase cigarette taxes.

    State lawmakers yesterday announced plans to more than double Maryland's cigarette tax as part of a continued effort to reduce smoking and to generate as much as $200 million in revenue.

    Under the legislation, the cigarette tax would increase from 66 cents to $1.36, the first since legislators passed a 30-cent increase in 1999.

    But that tax increase was led by Gov. Parris Glendening, who promised not to push for further increases in the tobacco tax after that.

    Michael Morrill, a spokesman for the governor, said Glendening would sign the bill if the legislature passed it, but he will not be on the front lines supporting the measure. "He had made a commitment when the last increase went through that we would not come back on the tobacco tax," he said.

    New York, Kansas, Minnesota and Michigan are among the list of states that have proposed significant cigarette tax increase over the past few weeks.

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