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CONCORD, N.H. & BATON ROUGE, La. -- Both chambers of the New Hampshire legislature hammered out a deal that will decrease the state's cigarette tax by 10 cents. The move came as the state House of Representatives and Senate worked to finalize the budget.
The lawmakers reached a compromise Thursday night: the House gets the tax decrease it has been pushing for since the beginning of the year and the Senate gets its education funding plan and a bill to streamline the shoreland protections permitting process, according to the The Boston Globe.
The cigarette levy in New Hampshire will now be $1.68 per pack. However, if the decrease results in lost revenue, then it will jump back to $1.78 per pack in two years.
The New Hampshire House of Representatives approved the 10-cent cut in an overwhelming vote on March 17. The measure then moved to the Senate where it was tabled before ultimately being rejected earlier this month.
A study commissioned by the New Hampshire Grocers Association found that lowering the levy by 10 cents per pack would generate up to $13 million in additional tax revenue for the state. The study was conducted by Dr. Gregory Randolph and Dr. William Tasto, both economic professors at Southern New Hampshire University, and William D. Keip of Keip Government Solutions.
John Dumais, president and CEO of the New Hampshire Grocers Association, previously explained to CSNews Online that even though a lower cigarette tax causes the state to lose some revenue from tobacco sales, the increase in the sale of other goods and services will more than make up for it.
In related news, the price for a pack of cigarettes will also get a little cheaper next year in Louisiana. As CSNews Online reported earlier this week, Gov. Bobby Jindal vetoed a bill that would have permanently extended a temporary 4-cent per pack levy on cigarettes. Legislators vowed to override that veto, but the effort failed to garner the necessary two-thirds vote. The temporary tax will now expire on July 1, 2012.