Scramble starts for Idaho's cigarette tax revenue

Scramble starts for Idaho's cigarette tax revenue

Scramble starts for Idaho's cigarette tax revenue

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by Associated Press

KTVB.COM

Posted on February 14, 2014 at 4:17 PM

BOISE -- With Idaho's $120 million Capitol renovation nearly paid off, there's a scramble for $11 million in annual tobacco tax revenue that come 2015 will no longer be needed to finance the improvements.

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter wants the cash, from the 56 cent tax paid when somebody buys a pack of smokes, to help pay the state's share of Medicaid.

But House Majority Leader Mike Moyle launched his own plan Friday.

The Republican says the coveted cigarette-tax revenue to go toward highways and water projects, instead.

Otter's say there's ample reason to dedicate cigarette revenue to health insurance for poor people, since many suffer from tobacco-related illnesses.

But Moyle says Idaho's roads and drought-plagued agriculture-based economy should take precedent.

More ideas could still surface.

After all, there are 105 lawmakers.

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