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South Carolina Considers Hefty Cigarette Tax Hike

By: Joseph Bishop-Henchman

The Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives has introduced a bill to raise the state cigarette taxA tax is a mandatory payment or charge collected by local, state, and national governments from individuals or businesses to cover the costs of general government services, goods, and activities. from 7 cents to 57 cents, a 714% increase expected to raise $139 million.

The increase would push South Carolina’s tax higher than its neighbors, so it may not bring in the revenue they expect. More importantly, the fairness of taxing a small group of politically unpopular (and mostly low-income) people to fund government programs for all should be considered. This can lead to budget instability as citizens demand more government than they are willing to pay for.

More on cigarette taxes here.