All four bills seeking to increase taxes on tobacco products in the state have been voluntarily tabled amid legislative opposition to raising taxes.
Rep. Harold Ritchie’s bill was the only measure argued Monday before the House Ways and Means Committee. It would have raised cigarette taxes from 36 cents to $1.41 per-pack, among other tax increases on cigars and both smoking and smokeless tobacco. But after testimony concluded, Ritchie pulled the bill before a vote saying he knew he did not have enough support to advance the measure to the full House.
Rep. Kirk Talbot’s bill, which sought to increase taxes on cigarettes from 36 cents to 60 cents, and two similar measures by Rep. Katrina Jackson were also deferred voluntarily.
Gov. Bobby Jindal has said he will veto any tax hike that is not offset with tax reductions elsewhere.