This bill isn’t uncommon to the Mississippi Legislature, maybe this will be the year it passes.

HB 1573, a cigarette tax bill authored by Representative Jeff Smith, would increase the sales tax by about .08 cents per cigarette. That means each pack would now incur a sales tax of roughly $1.60.

The bill reads:

On cigarettes, the rate of tax shall be * * * Eight and Four-tenths Cents (8.4¢) on each cigarette sold with a maximum length of one hundred twenty (120) millimeters; any cigarette in excess of this length shall be taxed as if it were two (2) or more cigarettes. Provided, however, if the federal tax rate on cigarettes in effect on June 1, 1985, is reduced, then the rate as  provided herein shall be increased by the amount of the federal tax reduction. Such tax increase shall take effect on the first day of the month following the effective date of such reduction in the federal tax rate.

The motivation behind an increase on the cigarette sales tax has recently been the health of Mississippians. Studies have indicated that a higher cost for cigarettes promotes decreasing use of.