A major proponent of legislative steps to reduce smoking in Kentucky believes a dollar increase in the state’s cigarette tax faces an uphill climb. But, Winchester lawmaker Ralph Alvarado says including such a hike in an overall tax reform measure would increase the chances of passage.
Poll results released by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky last week showed 69 percent of those questioned support raising the cigarette tax by a dollar. Clark County Senator and physician Ralph Alvarado was asked Friday why that might not be enough to sway lawmakers to back such a tax hike. “I can’t say that I can answer that. A lot of it is different dynamics. A lot of it is rural versus urban dynamic in our state, it isn’t really partisan,” said Alvarado.
With pension reform and a state budget on the 60 day session agenda, Alvarado says tax reform talk may need to wait until a special legislative session, maybe next summer. He believes that’s where a dollar cigarette tax increase as part of a broader tax bill could pass.