New York Smokers Will Have to Pay Hefty Tax Starting This Week
New Yorkers will now have to pay quite a bit more for cigarettes thanks to a new tax that goes into effect this week.
Everyone knows that smoking is bad for you and the people you love, but now it's also going to put an even bigger dent in your wallet. In an effort to curb smoking in New York, lawmakers have passed a new excise tax on cigarettes that will make buying tobacco even more expensive.
New Yorkers were already paying the second-highest cigarette tax in the nation. But thanks to changes to this year's state budget, the cigarette tax will now be increased by another dollar, making it the highest penalty paid by smokers in the country. It's the first increase in cigarette taxes in over a decade and anti-smoking activists say it's about time.
Those who wish to purchase a pack of 20 cigarettes will now pay a $5.35 tax, the price will increase to $6.35 in New York City. Packs of 25 cigarettes will rise to $8.57 in New York City and $6.69 for the rest of the state. The increase will also affect packs of little cigars.
Lawmakers hope that the added financial burden will encourage more people to quit the habit. Some business owners, however, are not happy with the tax and claim that it will do nothing to curb smoking and only hurt small business owners.
The New York Association of Convenience Stores has vehemently opposed tobacco legislation, claiming that "prohibition doesn't work." The organization claims the tax, as well as a ban on flavored vaping products, will "fuel black markets and create a fiscal hole for the state to fill, all while hurting New York businesses and consumers."
Regardless of your stance on the increased tax, the increase goes into effect this Friday, September 1.
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