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Despite the governor's pledge, lawmakers said that raising the so-called "sin taxes" would generate at least $125 million in revenue for the state annually, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal. "I believe this state will be devastated if we do not raise the revenue," explained Assemblywoman Peggy Pierce (D-Las Vegas). "The paramount issue to me is that [we] save the state."
In a hearing before the Assembly Taxation Committee Tuesday morning, Pierce pushed for approval of Assembly Bill 333, which would more than double the cigarette tax to $1.70 a pack and increase taxes on cigars, beer, wine and liquor by 25 percent or more, the news outlet reported.
Later that same day, the Senate Revenue Committee heard Senate Bill 386, which calls for a $2 per pack tax on cigarettes and double the tax on cigars. Currently, the state cigarette tax is 80 cents per pack.
The governor does have allies in his fight against any tax increases: Republican legislators remain united against tax increases, the Review Journal said. Without support from across the aisle, Democrats remain a few votes short of the two-thirds majority need to not only raise taxes but also override any veto.