Cigarette tax hike killed by Wyoming Senate committee

A Senate committee has killed a bill that would have raised the state tax on cigarettes by 30 cents a pack.

House Bill 151 failed on 3-2 vote in the Senate Revenue Committee on Thursday. It had passed the state House on a close vote earlier.

Wyoming now levies a tax of 60 cents per pack, raising about $20 million a year in state and local tax revenue. The bill would have raised the tax to 90 cents, adding about another $10 million a year.

Some state lawmakers have been looking for new revenues to help make up for the huge revenue losses from the energy industry downturn.

The state uses its revenue from the cigarette tax to help pay for various health-related programs, such as substance abuse programs.

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