Rep. Adams prefers statewide smoking ban to cigarette tax increase

06/19/2012 01:05 PM

Republican state Rep. Julie Raque Adams was one of just two GOP lawmakers to co-sponsor legislation to ban smoking in public spaces and most work places across Kentucky.

And she said such a ban is important to economic development in Kentucky and is more effective than another proposal aimed at curbing smoking — raising taxes on packs of cigarettes.

“When companies look to Kentucky or employees look to moving to Kentucky, it doesn’t matter if you’re from Louisville or Paducah or Pikeville, I think everyone thinks it’s just a good way to go,” she said (2:15).

Some lawmakers, such as Democratic Sen. Julian Carroll of Frankfort, have told Pure Politics Kentucky’s cigarette tax should be raised beyond the current 60 cents-per-pack.

But Adams said she could only support an increase in the cigarette tax if it was part of a broader tax reform effort. Specifically she said she is concerned with relying on a “behavior tax” for additional revenue.

“When you talk about taxes in Kentucky, it’s really easy to say we’re going to raise the taxes and bring in more revenue … It’s not very courageous to say, let’s just go ahead and raise the cigarette tax. I think you need to look at it in a broader perspective,” Adams said. (5:00)


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