BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick will propose hiking the Massachusetts cigarette tax by 50 cents per pack as part of a plan to raise $260 million in new revenues for the state budget, the administration said Friday.

The governor’s plan also seeks to impose the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax on candy and soda — both items are currently exempt from the tax — and expand the state’s bottle deposit law to include bottled water, sports drinks and other beverages.

In addition to increasing the cigarette tax from $2.51 per pack to $3.01 per pack, a 20 percent increase, the plan would double the taxes paid on other tobacco products such as cigars and smokeless tobacco. The tobacco tax hike was expected to raise $73 million, officials said, with the money earmarked to help offset the cost of a recent decision by the state’s highest court that cleared the way for thousands of legal immigrants to join Commonwealth Care, the state’s subsidized health insurance program.

Patrick was scheduled to unveil his proposed state budget for the fiscal year starting July 1 on Wednesday. While the state is anticipating a 4.5 percent increase in total revenues in the next fiscal year, budget officials have warned that most, if not all of the additional money flowing into state coffers will be swallowed up by rising health care expenses and other fixed costs.

 (© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (10)
  1. IronManCC says:

    Taxation out of control! Start reining the budget in and making cutbacks! :-(

  2. JaniN says:

    “with the money earmarked to help offset the cost of a recent decision by the state’s highest court that cleared the way for thousands of legal immigrants to join Commonwealth Care”
    Wonderful! I was born here, raised here and have worked most of my life here, paid my taxes and now that I need some assistance in paying for healthcare (which I never had a chance to vote on), I can’t get any help, but I have to pay for people who are on the dole and aren’t even American citizens? I can hardly wait to get out of this state. The government here is gone off the rails.

  3. Patti Hutchins says:

    I thought anything you eat, drink, or wear couldn’t be taxed. It has me confused how Dunothing Patrick can continually go after one specific group of people and tax them endlessly without legal repercussions. Isn’t that discrimination? Why was he never held accountable for showing exactly how and where the monies from tobacco lawsuits was spent.
    But more importantly, how long will it be before we find out that the smokers of this state are not only supporting immigrants, but also illegals through Patricks new tax. It’s common knowledge that Patrick has no problem with harboring and supporting illegals. Just remember, next time you’re about to complain to a smoker about that dirty, nasty, unhealthy habit, instead, pat them on the back for shouldering yet another tax. I’ll be thinking of these questions as I head to the polls this year . At this point I would vote for an unemployed nobody who knows nothing of government to run this state over Patrick. They certainly couldn’t do any worse!

  4. Mark says:

    We all new this would happen when he was re-elected. Thanks to all you Patrick voters!

  5. Mark says:

    Thanks to all you Patrick voters!

  6. Mark says:

    This site is useless!

  7. George says:

    stop the spending,make cuts.. Hidden in this is the Health Care legislation that is costing us a fortune by providing a destination state for those that want a free lunch. This state is out of control!

  8. YaKnow says:

    Well, even better reason for me to shop in NH. What a Masshole he is…didn’t voite either time he ran…How about taking a look at all the fraud, and waste that is in this State.

  9. mickey says:

    The way this governor pushes for gay marriage and special protection for transgender people I can see this governor does not know God in any way,shape or form.

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