NY budget woes trigger bigger cigarette tax

New York's Legislature has voted to make thestate the nation's most expensive place to smoke, approving a taxhike that brings the price of cigarettes to about $9.20 a pack.

The Legislature may have also set the state on a course for - asone senator put it - a "clash of cultures" as it seeks to collecttaxes on cigarettes sold by sovereign Indian tribes.

The Legislature on Monday approved Gov. David Paterson's $1.60increase in the state cigarette tax that's now $2.75 per pack.

In New York City, which has its own $1.50 tax, the price couldjump to nearly $11 a pack. Paterson's bill would also double thetax on chewing tobacco and many other tobacco products whilefinally taxing little cigars as much as cigarettes.

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