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Lawmaker calls for increasing cigarette tax

By James Call

Tallahassee, FL – A South Florida lawmaker wants to increase cigarette taxes by $1 a pack. James Call reports he proposes using the money to reduce the cost of a driver's license and vehicle registration.

Rep. Jim Waldman, D-Coconut Creek, filed the bill (HB 1049) last week. The legislature imposed a $1 a pack increase in cigarette taxes in 2009. It was called a surcharge that helped balance a state budget.
budget problems.

Waldman said the state has seen decreases in cigarette smoking, and he hopes the additional taxes will further reduce tobacco use by young people. He calls his proposal a health care bill, plain and simple.

His plan is to use the 900 million a year in additional cigarette taxes to roll back the fee increases imposed on motorists in 2009. No Senate version of Waldman's bill has yet been filed.