How Georgia House Bills Could Raise Cigarette and Vape Tax
Today, tons of people smoke cigarettes or vape worldwide. But a higher percentage of people do either activity in the United States of America, especially Georgia. Finally, the Georgian government may have discovered a way to discourage cigarette and vape smoking. They wish to increase the taxes on cigarettes and vape products distributed in the region. Keep reading to learn Georgia’s plan and its intended effect.
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The General Assembly’s Plan to Raise Tax and Improve Health Care
Bipartisan legislators in Georgia have raised the motion to increase the tax on cigarettes and vapes in the state. This latest decision has nothing to do with another move to pad the state treasury.
'That would benefit the health system': Georgia House bills could raise cigarette, vape tax https://t.co/sXEYAKzg9G
— EIN Presswire: Tobacco Newswire (@EINTobaccoNews) February 7, 2023
The last time a similar move like this happened was twenty years ago. That time Georgia lawmakers raised a tax on tobacco. This move increased the excise tax on a pack of tobacco to 37 cents.
Tobacco users in Georgia enjoy favorable taxes – the second lowest tax rate in America. Tobacco smokers in regions like Washington DC and North Dakota pay $5.01 and 44 cents, respectively. Missouri is the only state with a lower tobacco tax than Georgia.
According to State Rep Ron Stephens, this new legislation means Georgia would no longer have the second-lowest tax. Stephen’s new bill would raise tax paid from 37 to 57 cents per pack. After this new law passes, Georgia will be on par with Idaho and South Carolina.
Proposed bill to raise Georgia’s tax on tobacco products gets bipartisan push
https://t.co/OKVyjRL1ye Chattanooga Times Free Press
— Chattanooga News (@NewsNooga) February 11, 2023
What Happened Before the Current Tax Rate Change
As mentioned earlier, this wouldn’t be the first smoking tax in Georgia. Twenty years ago, the state’s government introduced similar taxation on cigarettes. That’s why the state currently charges 37 cents per pack levy.
Georgia wants to take a similar approach to what it did twenty years ago. But with different effects in mind.
What Types of Products will be Taxed?
Plenty of news has been making the rounds about the impending tax raise. Many are anxious to see what will happen after this new legislation. But what are the products affected by this new legislation?
Georgia’s new tax law will affect tobacco products. So, the prices of cigarettes, cigars, loose or smokeless tobacco products, and consumable vape products will be affected.
What’s the Public Reaction to this New Bill?
There’s been a mixed public reaction to this new tax rate. While many are happy about what this new law would mean for the health system, others are wary about spending more on tobacco-related products.
? BREAKING: A new non-partisan poll commissioned by the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute and the University of Georgia shows nearly 63% of Georgians support raising the state tobacco tax!https://t.co/0qIIfM1LRD
Great to see so much support behind #HB191! Let’s get it done! pic.twitter.com/2c4ANctNPf
— Dr. Michelle Au (@AuforGA) February 3, 2023
What is the Benefit of the Tax?
Most people and news sources focus on the next tax’s effects on price. But this legislation has hidden benefits.
Michelle Au, one of the State Reps in support of the new law, explained that the tax would be a subtle deterrent for smokers. According to her, young smokers are sensitive to price changes. This new tax may force many young individuals to make different life decisions.
Furthermore, the tax will be used to fund government healthcare programs. No further information is given on the beneficiary healthcare programs. But, this action would benefit the overall healthcare system. The Georgia Department of Community Health has programs focusing on disease prevention and offering affordable healthcare to everyone.
What will be the Consequences of the New Tax Rate?
This new bill would lead to fewer smokers in the region. As more manufacturers adjust to this new tax rate, they will charge higher per unit of product. A drop in the number of smokers, especially among young adults, would hurt manufacturers’ profits. It would also deter new entrants into the industry.
Even after adjusting this legislation, the tax rate in Georgia is still relatively low. But the long-term effects of increased taxation are unavoidable.
And that’s all on the new cigarette and vape tax in Georgia. It appears this region is finally set to increase its tobacco levy. When the new law is effected, Georgia will no longer have the second lowest tobacco tax in the country. Its new bill will also create additional funds for the Georgia Department of Community Health and improve citizens’ quality of life.