New Push in Kansas Starts to Raise Tobacco Taxes

By: AP
By: AP

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ State government's leading health care policy group has started to push again for an increase in tobacco taxes.

The Kansas Health Policy Authority wants to use the tax increase to finance health reforms.

The authority not only reviews health issues but runs some of the state's medical programs, including Medicaid.

It has persuaded the House Taxation Committee to sponsor a bill to raise tobacco taxes by $87 million a year. The tax on a package of cigarettes would increase by 75 cents on July 1, to $1.54.

Authority spokesman Peter Hancock said Friday that the proposal is a response to broad-based support across the state.

Public health officials have long supported the idea, but many legislators oppose raising taxes.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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