Estimate: Higher tobacco tax in Georgia could raise $585M

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ATLANTA (AP) -- A new analysis predicts Georgia's state government could raise taxes on tobacco and collect and extra $585 million.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution obtained the analysis created by researchers at Georgia State University. It showed that raising Georgia's cigarette tax to $1.60 per pack would bring in hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
That funding may prove tempting as Georgia's politicians search for ways to pay for transportation projects.
Georgia now charges a 37-cent tax on cigarette packs. That tax rate is one of the lowest in the country and has not changed for more than a decade.
The analysis by researchers predicts the state could still raise an extra $554 million by 2020, even though some people would probably quit smoking because of the extra cost.

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