Cigarette Tax Hike Possible

Smokers may soon find themselves paying even more to keep up the habit.

Reports say Governor Mike Easley plans to introduce a sales tax increase of 50 cents per pack in his budget proposal. The money would be used to help snuff out a $1,000,000,000 state budget deficit. Other lawmakers are discussing the possibility of a 75 cent increase.

Governor Easley's office would not deny the tax increase is being considered, but did say the budget proposal has not been completed, and the final decision on the tax increase has not been made.