Under a proposal by Gov. Deval Patrick, "sin taxes" on cigarettes will increase and new sales taxes on candy and soda will be put into place.
Patrick, who is in Wellesley today visiting Dr. John O'Donnell, president of , is proposing the increase as a way to raise $260 million in new revenues for the state budget, according to an Associated Press article on Wednesday.
Under the plan, the cigarette tax will be increased from $2.51 per pack to $3.01 per pack - an increase of 50 cents.
The plan will also ask to impose the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax on candy and soda — both items are currently exempt from the tax — and expand the state’s bottle deposit law to include bottled water, sports drinks and other beverages, the Associated Press reported.
The plan would also double the taxes paid on other tobacco products such as cigars and smokeless tobacco. The tobacco tax hike was expected to raise $73 million, officials told the Associated Press, with the money earmarked to help offset the cost of a recent decision by the state’s highest court that cleared the way for thousands of legal immigrants to join Commonwealth Care, the state’s subsidized health insurance program.
Along with boosting revenues, administration officials said higher taxes on tobacco and junk food might also help make people healthier.