Indiana convenience stores are fighting against a proposal by House Republicans to raise cigarette taxes by $1 per pack.
According to WIBC News, the Indiana Grocery and Convenience Store Association is speaking out to warn that tax hike would be “devastating” to its members because Indiana would lose its price advantage over neighboring states.
The proposed $1 per pack increase would make Indiana cigarette prices even with those in Illinois and Michigan, and 40 cents more expensive than in Ohio.
Circle K predicts it will lose $3 million a year if the tax passes, WIBC reported.
Gary Kuns, tobacco marketing director for Speedway convenience stores, told WIBC that when Illinois increased its tax by a $1 per pack in 2012, it collected less than it had at the lower rate.
Meanwhile, Community Health CEO Bryan Mills, who’s leading a health and business coalition that is pushing for the tax, is less concerned about money and more about reducing the number of smokers in the state. He told WIBC that Indiana can’t hope to achieve its goals of reducing opioid abuse if it can’t fight cigarettes.