by Jackie Bartz
12:00 AM AKST, January 2, 2011
Smokers in Anchorage can expect to shell out 75 cents more for a pack in 2011. Money from the tobacco tax will be filtered back into the community, and it's also an effort to cut down on the number of smokers.
Anchorage Assembly Chair Dick Traini says it's expected to raise over 5 million dollars a year. That money will go toward offsetting property taxes, and into the budgets for the Anchorage Fire Department and 2011 Police Academy.
Traini says it's also an effort to curtail smoking, especially among anchorage youth. He says, "I would much rather see the income stream go down to nothing that means the tobacco, the people smoking dwindle down to nothing too. So we have a lot of people that are going to live a lot longer."
But smoke shop workers are skeptical that the added cost will force anyone to quit. Cheap Smokes employee Lindsay Wassillie says many customers say it will be a new years resolution, but she doubts it will stick.
She says, "I think a lot of people are going to be saying they are going to quit, to be honest I'm expecting to see them back. Quitting smoking is, just hard."
The tobacco tax passed the assembly with a vote of 8 to 3, it went into effect January 1st.
Traini says he expects this to be the last time the assembly raises taxes on tobacco.
Contact Jackie Bartz at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2013, KTUU-TV