KANW-FM

New Mexico considers tobacco tax increase

Jan 10, 2018

A New Mexico state senator is sponsoring legislation to raise taxes on tobacco products to increase funding to public education. Democratic Sen. Howie Morales of Silver City announced Wednesday a bill that would increase the price of a pack of cigarettes by $1.50 and impose an equivalent tax on cigars, chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes. Any increase in revenue would go toward operations for public schools throughout the New Mexico that rely on state government for majority of spending. A similar bill last year won approval in the state Senate but stalled in the House of Representatives. New Mexico last increased taxes on a tobacco product in 2010. A coalition of public health advocacy groups supports the legislation, including the American Cancer Society. It was unclear whether New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez would support the measure. She has been a staunch opponent of tax increases, while calling this year for tax reforms and increased spending on education.