Even though an official bill calling for an increase in Idaho’s cigarette sales tax is a near impossibility, Democratic legislators still have plans today for what they call an “informational hearing” on the matter. Democrats said a $1.25 hike for the price of smokes would generate close to $50 million, which could provide a stopgap for cuts to Medicaid or public education.
Just a few weeks ago, Republican Rep. Dennis Lake, chairman of the House Tax Committee, said he had a plan to sponsor such an increase. But last week Lake said he didn’t have enough support and decided to hold back on the measure. The public will be invited to testify at today’s informational hearing, scheduled for 4:30 p.m. at the Statehouse.