There are at least five legislative bills still alive this session that would raise Mississippi’s laughably low 18-cents-a-pack excise tax on cigarettes to a more realistic rate.
During the long 2007 gubernatorial campaign, Gov. Haley Barbour promised to consider a cigarette tax increase during the 2008 legislative session if that hike was part of an overall package that provided “a significant tax cut” for Mississippi taxpayers.
But almost in the same breath, Barbour was quick to say that a comprehensive study of the state’s tax structure was necessary before any tax changes were enacted. Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant is singing from the same political hymnal, so the chances of a cigarette tax seeing the light of day during the 2008 regular session seem slim at best.