Some smokers think the price for a package of cigs is high, but that price may be getting worse in Danville. This week, the city manager proposed 30 cents per packaging tax increase that would be included in next year’s budget. Approximately every city in the state has cigarettes tax, but Danville’s not among them. The state budget there has become so compact that officials are saying this may be the only new option.
“It should stay at the same tobacco price it’s at because everything is so high, why go up on cigs too?” declared smoker Belinda Fitzgarald.
The average cost per package in Danville is almost $4, and with an extra tax proposed on top of that, some smokers aren’t pleased.
“Cause they know they are addicted to tobacco smoking, so they keep increasing the price higher and higher,” explained Fitzgarald.
“Some persons smoke, other persons don’t. But also some of them eat in restaurants, other people don’t. We have taxes on restaurants and hotel rooms, and cigs would fall into that category,” added Joe King, the Danville City Manager.
City income is slim, and officials think it’s about favorable time smokers to start paying for their smoking habit.
“It’s very important for cities to have sources of income that produce ongoing… not just one time revenue sources, but every year,” reported King.
Thirty of 39 cities in Virginia tax cigs, but Danville isn’t one of them. Officials argued that they’ve already made too many cuts to the budget. The only answer now without raising property taxes is cigs.