New numbers show revenues to Kentucky’s General Fund, which pays for most state services besides roads, increased 5.4 percent since July 1, but money from the state’s cigarette tax declined by 3.9 percent, perhaps in part because higher tobacco taxes have prompted some people to quit smoking.
Roger Alford of The Associated Press reports cigarette tax revenues dropped to $135 million, from $141 million in 2009. Gov. Steve Beshear acknowledged that cigarette tax revenue would decline when he pushed a 30-cent-per-pack increase in the tax two years ago. “Beshear said raising the cigarette tax would result in fewer smokers, which would translate into healthier Kentuckians and lower health care costs,” Alford reports. (Read more)