Sen. Carroll suggests Beshear push for cigarette tax increase in 2013

06/05/2012 08:40 AM

Former Democratic governor Julian Carroll, who is running for a third term in the state Senate this fall, said Gov. Steve Beshear should push for another increase in Kentucky’s taxes on cigarettes.

The commonwealth currently charges 60 cents on a pack. It’s in the lowest tier of cigarette taxes nationally. Missouri has the nation’s lowest at 17 cents. Five states charge more than $3 a pack in taxes.

Kentucky raised tobacco taxes twice since 2005 when the per-pack rate was 3 cents. Carroll said he’d like to see the rate raised to around $1.

The other advice he offered to Beshear was to not “step forward and make claims up front without knowing what your votes are” — a reference to Beshear’s push earlier this year to allow expanded gambling in Kentucky. The constitutional amendment fell seven votes shy of the 23 needed for approval in the 38-member state Senate.

This fall, Carroll faces Republican Frank Haynes in the 7th District in Franklin, Woodford and part of Fayette County — a district that is solidly Democratic.

He said Democrats have a chance to make a run at “several” Republican held-seats. That includes a challenge to Republican Floor Leader Robert Stivers of Manchester even though Carroll said Stivers “has been very helpful to me.”

About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He has covered politics for more than 10 years, including 7 years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Follow Ryan on Twitter @cn2Alessi. Ryan can be reached at 502-792-1135 or ryan.alessi@twcnews.com.

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