Proposed $1.00 Cigarette Tax Hike a Tax on Poor and Will Put Many Stores Out of Business

CHICAGO—”The one-dollar-a-pack cigarette tax increase passed last year in the State Senate, S.B. 44, would raise the Illinois cigarette tax to $1.98 and fall most heavily on low-income and minority residents of Illinois,” said Jim Tobin, President of National Taxpayers United of Illinois (NTUI), “and would be used to fund the gold-plated pensions of state politicians and state and local government employees.”

“High taxes on items such as cigarettes encourage people to shop across state lines where taxes are lower,” said Tobin, “placing Illinois at a competitive disadvantage to the surrounding states of Missouri ($ .17 tax), Kentucky ($ .60), Indiana ($ .99), and Iowa ($1.36).”

“This kind of tax gouging not only drives economic activity out of Illinois, it invites more illegal black-market activity, and everyone pays for the increased criminal activity this will bring to the state.”

These taxes are being used to fund lavish pensions across Illinois, including Mclean County, Sangamon County, Jo Daviess County, Mercer County, Kane County, Henry County, Rock Island County, Winnebago County, DuPage County, the Cook County Suburbs, Peoria County, Champaign County, and the Illinois General Assembly.

“S.B. 44 proposes a cynical, destructive tax hike on the poor to reinforce the state’s out-of-control spending. Rather than passing such an onerous tax increase, the state should eliminate redundant jobs and pass meaningful pension reform legislation. The senators and representatives supporting this bill should not be reelected and need to be kicked out of office as soon as possible.”

As of 10:30am today, S.B. 44 is in the hands of the revenue and finance committee. You can view the status of the bill at

Click here to view this news advisory as a PDF.

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