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Politics & Government

Senate Republicans Won't Include Cigarette Tax Hike In Budget

Justin Hicks
IPB News

Senate Republicans won’t include an increase in the state’s cigarette tax in their budget proposal.

Advocacy groups – everyone from the Indiana Hospital Association and State Medical Association to the Indiana Chamber of Commerce – have argued for years that the state needs to reduce the number of Hoosiers who smoke.

And study after study shows that raising the cigarette tax by at least $1 per pack can do that.

READ MORE: How Do I Follow Indiana's Legislative Session? Here's Your Guide To Demystify The Process

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The House Republican budget included a 50 cent hike. But Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) said his caucus isn’t prepared to do even that.

“Obviously it’s a very regressive tax and so we want to be cognizant of that,” Bray said.

Bray said the Senate GOP budget (which will be unveiled next week) will likely impose a new tax on e-cigarettes, which he said brings them into parity with traditional cigarettes.

Indiana lawmakers haven't increased the state's cigarette tax since 2007.

Contact reporter Brandon at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.