Councilman: Omaha Cigarette Tax Will Likely Pass

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

An Omaha City Councilman says he believes a proposed cigarette tax has enough support to pass, despite criticism from Gov. Dave Heineman and opposition from some businesses.

Councilman Ben Gray said Tuesday that he still plans to vote in favor of the ordinance next week. The proposal would impose a 7 percent occupation tax on tobacco products sold in Omaha -- 35 cents for a $5 pack of cigarettes.

Heineman criticized the proposal this week as a form of "double taxation" on smokers, because the project is already receiving $50 million in state money. The Nebraska Grocery Industry Association says the measure would hurt more than 500 grocers and retailers in Omaha.

The tax revenue would help pay for a new University of Nebraska cancer center based in Omaha.

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