South Carolina House Passes Cigarette Tax Increase
The South Carolina House on Thursday voted 97-22 to approve legislation that would raise the state's cigarette tax from seven cents per pack to 57 cents per pack to help fund health care for low-income workers, the Charleston Post and Courier reports. Of the $147 million the measure is expected to generate, about $139 million would be used to establish a fund to cover 75% of health plan premiums for workers with annual incomes of up to $21,600. The fund also would cover 67% of premiums for policies offered by small businesses with 25 or fewer low-income workers. The maximum credit limit for workers receiving assistance from the fund would be $3,000 (Behre, Charleston Post and Courier, 4/3).