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RI lawmakers to consider cutting cigarette taxes

A pack of cigarettes would cost a buck less in Rhode Island under an unusual bill up for review next week in the state's General Assembly.

Lawmakers have scheduled a hearing on the proposal for Wednesday.

The bill represents an exception to a trend that has seen more than half the states consider proposals to increase cigarette taxes since the economic downturn began. But supporters say lowering the cigarette tax could give a boost to Rhode Island's tobacco retailers by luring smokers from neighboring states.

Lawmakers in New Jersey and New Hampshire also have introduced legislation this year to lower their state tobacco taxes.

Rhode Island now collects $3.46 in taxes on every pack of cigarettes, among the highest in the nation.

Published: Tuesday, May 17, 2011

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