Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Cigarette tax cut rejected by panel

PIERRE - Smokers in southeastern South Dakota are organizing "buying groups" to get cheaper cigarettes in Nebraska and Iowa, state Rep. Garry Moore, D-Yankton, told a legislative committee Monday morning. Moore said South Dakota's $1 a pack increase in the cigarette tax was hurting small businesses in his district. He argued to cut the tax by 78 cents, but the House State Affairs Committee voted 12-1 to kill the proposal without a vote of the full House.Voters in November approved increasing the state's cigarette tax from 53 cents a pack to $1.53 a pack. Moore's bill would have reduced the tax to 75 cents a pack."This is not selfish in nature," said Moore, who works for a company that wholesales cigarettes. "I know there are people who've said it's selfish in nature, and I really don't care.

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