CHARLESTON, W. Va. – Last week West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed into law a state budget bill that includes an increase in the state’s 55-cents-per-pack cigarette excise tax.
Effective July 1, 2016, the cigarette excise tax will increase by 65 cents to $1.20 per pack. West Virginia’s 55-cents-per-pack tax rate was the sixth lowest in the United States.
Although the state’s cigarette tax will remain lower than the $1.60 per pack in neighboring Ohio and Pennsylvania, Delegate Pat McGeehan told The Intelligencer that the tax will hurt West Virginia because it removes money from the private economy.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, West Virginia has the highest adult smoking rate at 26.7%, followed by Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Indiana, South Carolina, Michigan and Oklahoma.