Ore. House Votes to Let Counties Tax Tobacco - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Ore. House Votes to Let Counties Tax Tobacco

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SALEM, Ore. - Counties in Oregon are one step closer to being able to tax cigarettes.

The state House narrowly voted Thursday to allow tobacco taxes, currently the exclusive authority of the state.

Proponents say the measure would help struggling counties raise revenue while discouraging smoking. Critics say tobacco taxes are regressive because smokers tend to have lower incomes.

It is unclear how many counties would choose to tax tobacco products or what rate they would charge.
    
Forty percent of county tobacco tax revenue would have to be spent on public health programs or addiction services.

The bill heads next to the state Senate.

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