AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — State taxes on chewing tobacco would drop by more than 30 percent but the price of cigarettes would climb for some brands under a bill given tentative approval in the Texas House.
The measure passed Monday mandates that smaller cigarette brands not included in a 1998 settlement among big tobacco companies begin charging an extra $2.75 per pack like the major competitors.
Republican state Rep. John Otto said the bill is about fairness. Tobacco manufacturers that are part of the settlement pay about $500 million annually to the state. Supporters say companies that weren't around when the settlement was struck have increased market share to around 8 percent.
Taxes on a can of chewing tobacco would drop from $1.22 to 80 cents under the proposal.