Weather Alert

Tobacco Tax Increase to Fund Medicaid Floated in Salem

SALEM, Ore. (AP) – Oregon is exploring an additional $2 tax on cigarettes to help fund the state’s Medicaid program.

Gov. Kate Brown said Wednesday the proposed tax would bring in $346 million every two years. She adds that higher cigarette prices will also encourage smokers to quit the habit.

The plan would also implement a 65% tax on the wholesale price of e-cigarettes as a way to combat teen vaping rates.

Most of the money would fund Oregon’s Medicaid program, which covers health insurance for low-income individuals. Oregon has faced rising Medicaid costs after a drop in federal contributions.

Business groups slammed the idea and said the tax increase will hurt small businesses and only encourage consumers to find tobacco products elsewhere.

Connect With Us Listen To Us On