- The Washington Times - Monday, October 21, 2013

Smoke ‘em if you’ve got ‘em — and then hurry and quit, because Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is planning a massive tax increase on cigarettes.

His proposed 75-cent increase would bring a pack of cigarettes in the Windy City to $7.42 a pack, the highest price in the nation, Fox News reported.

But the tax hike could have a countereffect on raising revenues for the city. That’s because border residents only need to jump across state lines to buy in bulk. Already, the city’s total tax collection on cigarettes has fallen in recent years due directly to tax increases. In 2006, the city brought in $32.9 million in cigarette taxes, but after two consecutive tax hikes, revenues fell to $16.5 million, the Chicago Sun-Times said.

The tax rate per pack now stands at 68 cents.

Mr. Emanuel said the move could raise $10 million for schools. He plans to bring it before the City Council for consideration in his Oct. 23 proposed budget.


• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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