Regional
11:48 am
Wed January 18, 2006

Tobacco Payoff To Be Challenged

Frankfort, KY – Some cigarette makers expect a proposed overhaul of how Kentucky collects money from tobacco manufacturers to be challenged in court.
Critics have warned lawmakers a proposed $4 per carton tax on cigarettes as part of a national settlement would hurt the state far more than it helps.
The proposed flat tax is part of a settlement between states and tobacco companies to help the tobacco companies cover smoking related costs.
The critics of the proposed tax said it would violate the master settlement agreement. That would cost Kentucky the roughly $113 million it now gets each year under the agreement.
Representative Rob Wilkey of Scottsville told the senate appropriations and revenue committe "it's an extraordinarily bad deal for Kentucky".
Supporters of the bill, who say opponents are using scare tactics, hope to have a bill introduced next week.