WVU’s Bureau for Business and Economic Research published the findings of a study into the proposed increase in the tobacco tax.
The state legislature requested this research and it found that increasing the tobacco tax could boost the state’s revenues by as much as $135 million.
One researcher said that when the bill died last week, the state missed a valuable opportunity to cut away at its budget deficit.
“The budget shortfall is so high that this certainly would have been a way to fill that hole, and certainly, when seen in the grand scheme of things of where the money would come from, this would have been one of the so-called lower-hanging pieces of fruit they would have been able to collect revenue from,” said Brian Lego WVU Bureau for Business & Economics.
West Virginia’s current tobacco tax is 55 cents, which is lower than every neighboring state except Virginia.