Kentucky Farmers Oppose Possible Cigarette Tax Increase

3d render of growing taxation concept

Tobacco growers throughout Kentucky were in Frankfort this week to meet lawmakers and discuss a proposed tax. Tobacco farmers are explaining their opposition to calls for a $1 a pack increase in Kentucky’s cigarette tax. Opponents say the tax hike would unfairly burden those least able to pay, the nearly 48% of the lowest income Kentuckians who smoke. And it would hurt the family farm, according to Christian County farmer Robert Gray. Gray said tobacco’s always been a stable crop. He said corn and wheat are sometime profitable, and sometimes not, and tobacco has helped numerous farm families in the state of Kentucky. Opponents of the tax hike maintain it could be counter-productive. More than 60% of states recently increasing cigarette taxes failed to meet revenue projections. Growers pointed out to lawmakers that higher taxes would drive smokers across borders to buy cigarettes, harming Kentucky convenience stores, which derive more than 1/3 of their sales from cigarettes.

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