State cigarette tax rates and rankings

Table shows all cigarette tax rates in effect now and those that will go into effect through June 30, 2009

State Tax Rank
Alabama $0.42 43rd
Alaska $2.00 6th
Arizona $2.00 6th
Arkansas* $1.15 25th
California $0.87 31st
Colorado $0.84 32nd
Connecticut $2.00 6th
Delaware $1.15 25th
DC $2.00 6th
Florida $0.34 47th
Georgia $0.37 44th
Hawaii $2.00 6th
Idaho $0.57 40th
Illinois $0.98 29th
Indiana $0.99 28th
Iowa $1.36 20th
Kansas $0.79 34th
Kentucky** $0.60 38th
State Tax Rank
Louisiana $0.36 45th
Maine $2.00 6th
Maryland $2.00 6th
Massachusetts $2.51 3rd
Michigan $2.00 6th
Minnesota*** $1.50 18th
Mississippi $0.18 49th
Missouri $0.17 50th
Montana $1.70 16th
Nebraska $0.64 36th
Nevada $0.80 33rd
New Hampshire $1.33 22nd
New Jersey $2.58 2nd
New Mexico $0.91 30th
New York $2.75 1st
North California $0.35 46th
North Dakota $0.44 42nd
Ohio $1.25 23rd
State Tax Rank
Oklahoma $1.03 27th
Oregon $1.18 24th
Pennsylvania $1.35 21st
Rhode Island $2.46 4th
South Carolina $0.07 51st
South Dakota $1.53 17th
Tennessee $0.62 37th
Texas $1.41 19th
Utah $0.70 35th
Vermont $1.99 14th
Virginia $0.30 48th
Washington $2.02 5th
West Virginia $0.55 41st
Wisconsin $1.77 15th
Wyoming $0.60 38th
Puerto Rico $1.23 N/A
Guam $1.00 N/A
N. Marianas $1.75 N/A

* – Effective 4/1/2009

** – Effective 3/1/2009

*** – Tax Stamp includes 75¢ health impact fee and 27.4¢ cigarette sales tax

Table shows all cigarette tax rates in effect now and those that will go into effect through June 30, 2009. Since 2002, 44 States, DC, and several U.S. territories have increased their cigarette tax rates 84 times. The six states in bold type have not increased their cigarette tax since 1999 or much earlier. Currently, 27 states (including DC) and Puerto Rico, the Northern Marianas, and Guam have cigarette tax rates of $1.00 per pack or higher, and 13 states (including DC) have cigarette tax rates of $2.00 per pack or higher. Tobacco states are KY, VA, NC, SC, GA, and TN. States’ average includes DC, but not Puerto Rico, other U.S. territories, or local cigarette taxes. Including Puerto Rico (which has a larger U.S. population than more than 20 states and DC) raises the state average slightly. The median tax rate is $1.15 per pack. MI, MN, and UT also have special 35¢ per pack taxes or fees on brands of manufacturers not participating in the state tobacco lawsuit settlements (NPMs). The highest combined state-local tax rate is now $4.25 in New York City, with Chicago, IL second at $3.66 per pack. Other high state-local rates include Evanston, IL at $3.48 and Anchorage, AK at $3.324 per pack.

Federal cigarette tax will increase to $1.01 per pack on 3/31/09. From the beginning of 1998 through 2002, the major cigarette companies increased the prices they charge by more than $1.25 per pack (but also instituted aggressive retail-level discounting for competitive purposes and to reduce related consumption declines). In January 2003, Philip Morris instituted a 65-cent per pack price cut for four of its major brands, to replace its retail level discounting and fight sales losses to discount brands, and R.J. Reynolds followed suit. In the last several years, Philip Morris, Reynolds American, and Lorillard have increased their product prices by at least 20 cents per pack. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention estimates that smoking-caused health costs total $10.28 per pack sold and consumed in the U.S.

The average price for a pack of cigarettes nationwide is roughly $5.01 (including statewide sales taxes but not local cigarette or sales taxes, other than NYC’s $1.50 per pack cigarette tax), with considerable state-to-state differences because of different state tax rates, and different manufacturer, wholesaler, and retailer pricing and discounting practices. AK, DE, MT, NH & OR have no state retail sales tax at all; CO, MN & OK have a state sales tax but it do not apply it to cigarettes; and AL, GA & MO (unlike the rest of the states) do not apply their state sales tax to that portion of retail cigarette prices that represents the state’s cigarette excise tax.

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One Response to State cigarette tax rates and rankings

  1. Mike Harmon says:

    I’ve been reading along for a while now. I just wanted to drop you a comment to say keep up the good work.

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