North Carolina Senator Pushes for Alcohol, Cigarette Tax Increase

North Carolina Senate leader Marc Basnight (D-Dare) has introduced legislation that would increase taxes on beer, wine, and cigarettes to recoup state costs associated with alcohol, tobacco, and other drug addiction, WRAL-TV 5 reported June 3.

Critics of the measure said it targets low-income families who are already financially strapped. “About 40 percent of the people who use, let’s say tobacco, are in the lower-income bracket. So what we’re doing is taxing people because they’re the victim of an addiction. It doesn’t make any sense at all,” said Rep. Sam Ellis (R-Wake).

The bill was rejected in the House of Representatives because many lawmakers signed a pledge not to raise taxes this session.