WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Iowa's Governor Calls For Tobacco Tax Hike

West Burlington, IA – Iowa's Governor says increasing the price of cigerettes will have a positive impact on the health of Iowa's residents. Governor Tom Vilsck wants the Iowa Legislature to hike the tobacco tax by $0.80. He says the proposal is about saving lives. Vilsack says the tax increase could generate $129,000,000, which he says would be used on health care issues. That includes helping small businesses provide better health insurance, funding the mental health system, and putting money back into the Senior Living Trust fund. Vilsack believes he has the support in the legislature to approve the tobacco tax hike, if House Speaker Christopher Rants will allow it to come up for a vote. Vilsack called on the public to speak with and encourage legislators to support the $0.80 tobacco tax increase.