NATO has sent personalized letters to all Illinois state senators, urging them to oppose a bill that would increase the state's cigarette tax by $1.00 (from the current $.98 per pack to $1.98 per pack).
NATO's letter focused on the additional tax burden that Illinois residents who purchase cigarettes would face in light of the recent 66% increase in the state income tax and the cross-border impact on retailers located in Illinois.
Specifically, NATO explained to state senators that retailers located in Illinois near the borders of Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky or Indiana would be in serious jeopardy of losing business to those neighboring states. This loss of business would result, because these states have lower cigarette tax rates that would make crossing the state border to buy cigarettes attractive to consumers. In fact, Illinois residents would be able to purchase cigarettes for approximately $6.20 less per carton in Iowa, $18.10 less per carton in Missouri, $13.80 less per carton in Kentucky and $9.85 less per carton in Indiana.
While the Illinois Senate has been considering this cigarette tax increase, the Illinois House has not taken up the bill. A copy of NATO's letter to Illinois senators can be accessed by clicking here.