Arkansas Senator Lobbies for Wholesale Tobacco Tax

Albanese, Elizabeth
May 2003
Bond Buyer;5/2/2003, Vol. 344 Issue 31627, p29
Trade Publication
Arkansas Senator Brenda Gullet has asked state Attorney General Mike Beebe to issue an opinion on whether a wholesale tax on tobacco products could be enacted with only a simple majority approval from the General Assembly. If approved, such a tax would generate about 90 million dollars a year, according to the state Department of Finance and Administration. Gullett wants to introduce a bill during a special legislative session, scheduled to begin May 5, 2003 that would allow the state to levy a 16 percent sales tax on tobacco products at the wholesale level. Gullett says the state needs to raise an additional 100 million dollars or so to avert reductions to Medicaid and other human services programs. Arkansas currently levies a tax of 34 cents per pack on cigarettes. In addition, it levies a tax on other tobacco products, such as chewing tobacco and cigars, at a rate equal to 23 percent of the manufacturer's price.


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