- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 7, 2015

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming lawmakers are considering raising the state’s tobacco tax, which is currently one of the lowest in the country.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports (https://bit.ly/1LykRFd ) that a state account that distributes payments and interest from cigarette companies as a result of a 1998 lawsuit and settlement is projected to have a $14.6 million shortfall by July 2018. Some state agencies receive money from the Tobacco Settlement Trust Income Account.

The Joint Appropriations Committee was asked to review the deficit over the summer and found that the fund cannot support the programs without a revenue enhancement.

Wyoming’s tobacco tax is 3 cents per cigarette, 60 cents a pack. It is tied for the eighth-lowest rate in the country. The state’s smoking rate of nearly 21 percent is the 17th highest nationwide.

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Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, https://www.trib.com

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