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Bentz Has Concerns With Brown Tobacco Tax Plan

Oregon 30th District State Senator Cliff Bentz has serious concerns with Governor Kate Brown’s proposal to pay down the state’s Medicaid shortfall through a $2 tax increase on tobacco products.  The Republican from Ontario says he understands raising taxes can prevent young people from taking up tobacco use and that is a good thing, but he also doesn’t like the idea of putting the burden of raising revenue for the state on the backs of those who are addicted.  Brown’s plan would earmark 10% of the funds raised through the tobacco tax increase to cessation programs, with the rest going to the state’s Medicaid fund.  Business groups have slammed the idea, saying that high taxes would hurt small businesses and push consumers to find products online or the black market.