Illinois cigarette tax falling short of estimates


Springfield -- State officials say Illinois' $1-per-pack cigarette tax increase isn't bringing in as much money as they'd hoped.


The year-old tax took effect last June and raised the state tax on a pack of cigarettes from 98 cents to $1.98. At the time, officials said the money would bring in desperately needed revenue, while also discouraging people from smoking.


But the tax is expected to bring in $212 million in extra money for the current fiscal year. That's about 39 percent short of the $350 million that was projected.


Authorities say fewer people are buying cigarettes, which explains the decline.


Total cigarette tax revenue for the year is expected to reach almost $788 million, up 37 percent from the previous year.

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