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UPDATED: Supervisors OK 40-cent-per-pack cigarette tax on party-line vote

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The Prince William Board of County Supervisors voted Tuesday to adopt a 40-cents-per-pack cigarette tax beginning on January 1, 2022, a tax that is estimated to generate around $4 million every year. 

The board of county supervisors voted 5-3 to adopt the new tax, with all five Democratic members of the board voting in favor, and the board’s three Republicans voting against it. 

The new tax became available to Virginia counties for the first time earlier this year under new legislation approved by the Virginia General Assembly. The board had previously decided on adopting the new tax in May when they passed their fiscal year budget for 2022.   

Supervisor Jeanine Lawson, R-Brentsville, who voted against the cigarette tax, called it “a regressive tax” that will primarily impact low-income people who smoke cigarettes.

The administration, collection and enforcement of the county’s cigarette tax would be overseen by Northern Virginia Cigarette Tax Board. If approved by the county board, Prince William will join Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Stafford and Spotsylvania, and the cities of Alexandria, Fredericksburg, Manassas and Manassas Park in taxing cigarettes.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability and death in the United States. Smoking-related illness costs the United States over $300 billion each year, including more than $225 billion in direct medical costs, according to the CDC’s website

Reach Daniel Berti at dberti@fauquier.com 

Cigarettes could become more expensive in Prince William County next year depending on the outcome of today’s board of county supervisors meeting. 

County supervisors will decide today, Tuesday, Nov. 9, whether to tax cigarettes at 40-cents-per-pack beginning on January 1, 2022. The new tax became available to Virginia counties for the first time earlier this year under new legislation approved by the Virginia General Assembly. 

The proposed cigarette tax would generate an estimated $4 million per year for Prince William County. 

The administration, collection and enforcement of the county’s cigarette tax would be overseen by Northern Virginia Cigarette Tax Board. If approved by the county board, Prince William will join Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Stafford and Spotsylvania, and the cities of Alexandria, Fredericksburg, Manassas and Manassas Park in taxing cigarettes. 

The board of county supervisors set in motion a plan to begin taxing cigarettes when they adopted the county’s fiscal year 2022 budget in May on a party-line vote. The board’s five Democrats voted in favor of the budget, and the board’s three Republicans were opposed.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability and death in the United States. Smoking-related illness costs the United States over $300 billion each year, including more than $225 billion in direct medical costs, according to the CDC’s website.

The Prince William Board of County Supervisors will hold a public hearing on the new tax today during their 2 p.m. afternoon meeting.

Reach Daniel Berti at dberti@fauquier.com 

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(1) comment

someone

How low can the county board go? They're doing this to raise $4 million? This is in a county with a $2 billion county budget + school budget. The budget must be in serious trouble. Or is there another reason? I do not trust most of the county board.

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