Cigarette Tax Goes Up In Smoke


Decatur - 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.

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.

The shortfall is being blamed fewer people are buying cigarettes, which explains the decline.  The Illinois Association of Convenience Stores says many consumers in border communities are buying their cigarettes in Indiana and Missouri where taxes are lower.

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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