Smokes Go Up; Food Tax Vetoed
Gov. Bill Richardson signed a bill today that will raise the price of cigarettes 75 cents. And if you’re thinking about driving to the res to the avoid the tax, the proverbial man is one step ahead of you. The Legislature made some agreements with the state’s tribal leaders, who will also hike prices 75 cents.
With this increase, New Mexico’s tax on smokes comes to $1.66 per pack, the 18th highest in the United States. The national average is $1.34 per pack.
The measure was sponsored by Reps. Gail Chasey and Danice Picraux and Sens. Dede Feldman and Mary Jane Garcia.
The governor also vetoed the food tax, which would have brought in about $68 million. He’s going to make it up with stimulus money and by dipping into the reserves, among other things, according to this New Mexico Independent article.
The state was facing a $650 million budget shortfall.