Cigarette Tax Hike Proposed - NBC Chicago

Cigarette Tax Hike Proposed

Lawmaker wants a $1 cigarette tax hike to pay for construction program



    Celebrate This Holiday Season in Lively St. Charles
    Getty Images
    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 16: A woman smokes in a Times Square pedestrian island on September 16, 2010 in New York City. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed a ban on smoking in city parks, beaches, and parts of Times Square. Citing the danger of second hand smoke, the mayor sees the proposal as an extension of a popular public smoking ban in 2002 in workplaces and a ban in 2003 in restaurants and bars. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

    Taking a smoking break could get more expensive. 

    Senate President John Cullerton on Tuesday proposed raising the state cigarette tax by $1 per pack to compensate for a loss of funding for the state's $31 billion construction program.

    The Illinois Appellate Court ruled paying for the project with video poker and increased liquor taxes was unconstitutional.

    The case is pending a decision from the Illinois Supreme Court

    Illinois currently taxes 98 cents for a pack of cigarettes. The House snuffed out an attempt in January to raise the tax by a $1.01 a pack.

    Cullerton aides expect the legislation to surface in the next few days.

    "The construction program is too important to risk delays," Cullerton spokesman John Patterson told the Chicago Sun-Times.

    Illinois Could Snuff Out Smoking Ban

    [CHI] Illinois Could Snuff Out Smoking Ban
    An Illinois House committee approved proposals that would tweak the current ban signed into law by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
    (Published Thursday, March 10, 2011)