Idaho, which overall has a moderate set of tax rates and has been tightly-stretched on its budgets, had placed before it a proposed increase on the cigarette tax. Idaho's cigarette tax, at 57 cents per pack, is well below nearby states - a small fraction of what it is in Washington and Oregon - and one of the lowest in the country.
The proposal was put before the House Revenue and Taxation Committee with the support of Chair Dennis Lake, R-Blackfoot. The committee this morning voted 11-5 to not even hold a hearing on it.
From the Associated Press report on the meeting: "Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, doubted that smoking was really that harmful to people’s health, citing how his own mother smoked for about 82 years. “Just because you smoke doesn’t mean you are going to be ill,” Harwood said."