The state's new cigarette tax is starting to perform as expected but tobacco revenue continue to drop. Last year's dollar-a-pack increase was supposed to add 350-million-dollars to the take, but was 100-million-dollars short of that last year. With stockpiles depleted and retailers restocking, cigarette tax revenue for the month just ended was up 150-percent over July of 2012, with 30-million-dollars taken in.
Even with the increase though, tobacco tax revenue will likely decline to 807-million-dollars this year, down from 813-million in 2012. When supporters of the hike were pitching their plan last summer, they estimated the tax increase would keep 80,000 kids from starting smoking, and prompt 60,000 adults to quit.