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SHARON, Pa. — August ushered in a $1 hike in Pennsylvania's cigarette excise tax to $2.60 per pack. The move pushed Pennsylvania up the ladder to the 10th highest cigarette tax in the United States. It also pushed one local convenience store out of business.
"It really hurts because you're trying to make a buck and they keep on penalizing you," Toby Abrutz, owner of Korner News, told WYTV. "Every time you try to get ahead, the state puts another tax on something."
Toby and Jaque Abrutz own the c-store and say the increased tax is more than they can take. Cigarettes were their main source of business; however, the owners just can't keep up with the tax, they explained.
"There's just not enough business. I mean, everyone is going to start going to Ohio now to buy their cigarettes," said their daughter Lisa. "It's been tough for a long time and it just really pushed us over the edge."
Meanwhile, the Abrutz family is trying to figure out how to make ends meet. "My daughter's putting in an order today and…we decided not to order cigarettes because we are going to wait and see what this does with the business all week," Jaque Abrutz told the news outlet.
While the Korner News flagship location is closing, the Abrutz's other location in uptown Sharon will remain open, the report added.