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Eye On Boise

Otter: Any cig tax hike must go to smoking-related costs

Crowd of reporters and others listens to Idaho Gov. Butch Otter on Thursday (Betsy Russell)
Crowd of reporters and others listens to Idaho Gov. Butch Otter on Thursday (Betsy Russell)

Asked by reporters about proposals for a cigarette tax increase, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter told reporters at the AP Legislative Preview this morning that he doesn't favor general tax increases, and would look only at those that are tied to a specific need. "We didn't see that nexus formulated in any piece of legislation that was written up that I saw last year," he said. "If we're trying to defray our medical cost on a particular item, or on a particular choice that people make, then I think that money needs to go to that area that we're trying to correct. If we're taxing tobacco for the health care costs that the general fund is otherwise picking up, then it should go to those people that are suffering as a result of their tobacco use and cessation efforts."



Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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