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ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota's cigarette tax is about to go up, but a top lawmaker says the new rate won't be more than Wisconsin's.
Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk says the final tax could match the $2.52 per pack rate charged in Wisconsin. That's $1.29 more than Minnesota assesses now.
The House had suggested a $1.60 boost.
The higher tobacco tax is part of a $2 billion plan to raise new money toward the state's next budget.
Bakk says the tax bill is likely to include a limited broadening of the sales tax base, but the concentration will be on warehousing and other business-to-business transactions. But Bakk says that the plan is to exempt local governments from all sales taxes, at a cost of more than $100 million per year.
Minnesota's current cigarette tax of $1.23 per pack is below South Dakota's ($1.53) and Iowa's ($1.36). North Dakota charges just 44 cents per pack in tax.