House Approves $24 Millon Tax Hike On Cigarettes, Health Care

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The Vermont House has passed a bill raising taxes on health services and cigarettes by $24 million.

Final House action Wednesday came a day after lawmakers rejected proposed increases in income taxes on higher-income earners.

The bill boosts the state cigarette tax by 27 cents a pack, to match the levy in Massachusetts at $2.51.

It also imposes higher taxes on hospitals and nursing homes, and a new tax on claims processed by health insurance companies.

Now it moves to the Senate, where it’s expected there will be a move to collect more from some high earners who pay low or no state income taxes. State Tax Department data show seven tax filers reported more than $1 million in adjusted gross income in 2009, but paid no state income taxes.

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