A bill that would allow counties to levy their own cigarette taxes passed the Oregon House by a slim margin last week. HB 2870 would require counties to spend at least 40% of the money from cigarette taxes on public health, including smoking cessation programs.
Proponents say this would give local governments more autonomy to create a much-needed revenue source, particularly for counties that are facing severe financial problems. Opponents argue that cigarette taxes disproportionately affect the poor and could hurt small businesses.
The 31-29 House vote broke down along party lines, with only three Democrats voting against it and no Republicans voting for it. It now moves on to the Senate.
Are you a smoker? Do you sell cigarettes? Do you work in public health?
How would a county cigarette tax affect you?