State lawmaker looks to reduce cigarette tax to keep smokers shopping inside Rhode Island.
Rhode Island Representative Robert Philips is calling on the state to slash its cigarette tax by $1 to encourage smokers to shop local instead of crossing state borders to buy smokes in neighboring Massachusetts and Connecticut, thus keeping tax dollars in Rhode Island, the Boston Globe reported.
Phillips crafted legislation that would reduce the state’s $3.46-per-pack tax, which is the second highest in the nation, by $1 to $2.46-per pack.
Phillips’ proposal faced criticism by public health groups when he introduced the same bill last year and did not receive a vote.
Meanwhile, Gov. Lincoln Chafee has proposed raising the tobacco tax by four cents.