Legislators took a major step in raising Mississippi’s cigarette tax when the Senate Finance Committee voted Wednesday for a 31-cent-per-pack increase.
The legislation, which raises the tax to 49 cents per pack, now goes to the full Senate for consideration. While the measure could be taken up as early as today, it was not clear Wednesday when the full chamber would consider it.
Finance Chairman Dean Kirby, R-Pearl, has expressed a desire to move the proposal quickly.
The state now has an 18-cent tax, the third lowest in the nation. The House already this session has approved an 82-cent increase, to $1 per pack.
During passage of the 31-cent increase, Kirby said,
“The House will not agree to 49 cents. … This is a beginning figure.”