CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he doesn’t believe raising the city’s cigarette tax by 75 cents a pack will result in a larger local black market for cigarettes.
Emanuel said Monday he has long supported cigarette tax hikes to provide “health care for others.” He says least $2 million of the $10 million in additional revenues will be used to provide health care coverage for 15,000 un-enrolled, but Medicaid-eligible children.
West Side Ald. Jason Ervin noted that Emanuel’s plan means Chicago will have a combined state and local tax rate of $7.42-a-pack, replacing New York City as the highest in the nation.
Ervin says that will increase the number of smokers going to Wisconsin and Indiana to purchase cartons of cigarette, and encourage the peddling of loose cigarettes for $2-apiece.