Oregon House votes to let counties tax cigarettes - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon House votes to let counties tax cigarettes

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SALEM, OR (AP) -

The Oregon House has narrowly voted to let counties tax cigarettes.

The 31-29 vote Thursday sends the measure to the Senate.

Tobacco taxes are currently the exclusive authority of the state.

Proponents say the bill would help struggling counties raise revenue while discouraging smoking. Critics say tobacco taxes are regressive because smokers tend to have lower incomes.

It's unclear how many counties would choose to tax tobacco products or what rate they would charge.

Forty percent of county tobacco tax revenue would have to be spent on public health programs or addiction services.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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