Sacramento, CA — California lawmakers have been debating whether to place new taxes on items like cigarettes, soda drinks and bullets.
A $2-dollar-per-pack increase in the cigarette tax has been proposed by Democratic Senator Kevin De Leon. It would raise an estimated $1.2 billion and go towards unspecified health programs. California currently has an 87 cent cigarette tax, which ranks 33rd highest in the nation. The proposed tax would move California to the 4th highest. The measure recently passed its first two policy committee hurdles. California voters said no to a proposed $1 cigarette tax during the 2012 election, and the money would have gone to cancer research.
It is one of many tax measures floating around the state capitol. Another measure would create a one-cent tax on sugary soft drinks to benefit obesity programs. It was introduced by Democratic Senator Bill Manning. Related to guns, there is a proposed bill that would create a $50 permit fee to purchase bullets, as well as create a 10% tax on the purchase of bullets.