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Doyle's cigarette tax hike would put Wisconsin in Top 3

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New Richmond, 54017
New Richmond Wisconsin 127 South Knowles Avenue 54017

Wisconsin would have the nation's third-highest cigarette tax under Gov. Jim Doyle's new state budget.

He proposed a 75-cent increase last night, on top of the $1 hike which took effect just 13.5 months ago. It would make the state tax $2.52. And it would come soon after a federal increase of 61 cents that's due to take effect April 1.

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If the state increase is approved, it would take effect two months after the budget is signed.

And the same would be true for the long-debated statewide public indoor smoking ban which Doyle inserted into the budget to try and make it easier to pass. It got bogged down in details as a separate measure a year ago.

Maureen Busalacchi of Smoke-Free Wisconsin supports both measures. She cites a study from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, which says the new state and federal tax hikes would keep 33,000 teens in Wisconsin from starting to smoke.

Doyle's proposal would bring in almost $300 million over the two-year budget period.

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