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PROVIDENCE – A state lawmaker is looking to make Rhode Island’s cigarette prices more competitive by lowering the cigarette tax.
Rep. Robert D. Phillips, D-Woonsocket, introduced legislation that would lower the cigarette tax by $1 per pack.
According to a news release last week, the bill aims to draw more revenue back into Rhode Island with competitive prices. The bill will be especially helpful for “border communities” like Woonsocket, Phillips said.
Phillips also noted if the tax decrease is successful in bringing customers back inside Rhode Island’s borders, those very same individuals are more likely to make other purchases at stores where cigarettes are sold.
Rhode Island’s cigarette tax has remained at $3.46 per pack since 2009. In January, Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick proposed hiking the state’s cigarette tax from $2.51 to $3.01 per pack. In Connecticut, the average sales tax for cigarettes is $3.40 per pack. •