Cigarette Tax Up

AUSTIN (AP) - The state's $1 tax hike on cigarettes generated
244 million dollars more than expected this year.
The high revenues came in as cigarette sales didn't decline as
quickly as anti-smoking advocates had hoped.
Lawmakers passed the $1-per-pack cigarette tax increase last
year to help offset cuts in local property taxes. There's now $1.41
tax on each pack of cigarettes.
A spokesman for the Texas Comptroller's Office says the budget
experts continue to believe consumption will drop in the coming
Anti-smoking groups say the revenue numbers show that the
cigarette tax is a solid revenue stream, but they also argue that
some of the income should fund cessation programs.
A spokesman for tobacco company Philip Morris USA says the tax
will prove to be an unreliable source of revenue.