An influential Minnesota House Democrat is proposing a substantial increase in the state's cigarette tax.
Rep. Ann Lenczewski (len-CHESS'-kee) of Bloomington wants to more than double the state's cigarette tax by $1.60 a pack, from $1.23 to $2.83. That's considerably more than proposed by Gov. Mark Dayton, who wants a 94-cents-a-pack increase.
The House Taxes Committee is reviewing Lenczewski's proposal at a Thursday afternoon hearing. Lenczewski is chair of the committee, and her plan's reception could provide an early hint of the likelihood of a cigarette tax hike during the current legislative session.
The Taxes Committee is also reviewing a bill that would reclassify so-called "little cigars" so that they are taxed at the same higher rate as cigarettes.