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House Rejects $1-A-Pack Hike On Cigarette Tax

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A woman lights up. (file/AFP Getty Images)

A woman lights up. (file/AFP Getty Images)

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – The Illinois House has rejected a proposal to raise cigarette taxes by $1 a pack.

The measure was one part of a larger tax plan that would generate about $7 billion a year to help close Illinois’ massive budget deficit. The cigarette portion was supposed to produce about $375 million.

The cigarette proposal got only 51 of the 60 votes needed to pass Tuesday, but it could be brought back for another vote later.

Adding a dollar would more than double the tax rate for cigarettes.

Many lawmakers said that would hurt convenience stores and gas stations that sell cigarettes. They said the impact would be particularly harsh in border areas where neighboring states have lower taxes.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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