Could the tax you pay on one tobacco product be headed lower in the State of Texas? It very well could under a plan that would even the tax paid on all cigarettes--regardless if the company in question is covered under the 1998 tobacco lawsuit settlement.
However, the tax decrease being discussed would not affect cigarettes--rather chewing tobacco.
"What I'm told by the people who crunch out the numbers is that because of decreasing the tax to 80 cents (from $1.22) would increase the sale of the tobacco" said State Senator Juan Hinojosa before a hearing on the issue in front of the Senate Finance Committee's subcommittee on Fiscal Matters.
The idea makes State Senator Joan Huffman uncomfortable.
"I don't think policy wise that might be a good place for us to go" said Huffman--who sits on the subcommittee.
As for the cigarette tax--representatives of the smaller tobacco companies not covered by the settlement said the tax increase on their products--to even things up with those that are covered by the settlement--will essentially put them out of business in Texas--elimintating the jobs they provide.