Alabama House committee votes down cigarette tax

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – A legislative committee has voted down a proposed hike in Alabama’s cigarette tax, killing a major proposal for filling a shortfall in the state’s operating budget.

The Ways and Means General Fund Committee narrowly rejected the cigarette tax increase by an 8-7 vote Tuesday.

The bill would have boosted cigarette taxes by 25 cents per pack.

The increase would raise $66 million in revenue. The state general fund is facing a shortfall of $200 million for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

The vote could doom efforts to find substantial new revenue, but lawmakers may try again. The committee is scheduled to meet again Tuesday afternoon.

Gov. Robert Bentley is meeting with lawmakers at the Alabama Statehouse as he tries to persuade lawmakers to support tax increases.

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