NH legislators agree to tobacco tax cut
After months of debate, New Hampshire is set to lower the tax on cigarettes by 10 cents per pack. Members of the New Hampshire House and Senate agreed last evening to reduce the tax as part of a $4.42 billion state budget deal.
Under the new budget, New Hampshire’s cigarette tax will be $1.68 per pack – down from $1.78. Massachusetts currently imposes a $2.51 tax, Maine a $2.00 tax, and Vermont’s cigarette tax will be $2.62 starting next month after a recent hike.
Sales along New Hampshire’s borders are expected to increase as the Granite State becomes the only state in New England with cigarette taxes below $2.00 per pack. A recent study conducted by an economic team at the Southern New Hampshire University estimated that 50 percent of cigarette purchases in the state are already from out-of-state smokers. The study concluded that a 10 cent cut in New Hampshire’s cigarette tax would bring an additional $13 million to state coffers.
The House of Representatives voted in favor of the tax cut in March, but the Senate only agreed to the it during the recent budget negotiations.