Cigarette Tax Passes State House, Senate

Nashville, Tenn. (AP) -- The Tennessee House Monday night joined the Senate in approving an increase of 42 cents in the state's cigarette tax.

It pushes the tax to 62 cents per pack effective next month.

The House vote was 59-to-35. The Senate passed the tax last week.

Governor Bredesen still must sign the bill, but he has called the tax the centerpiece of a half-(b) billion dollar plan to overhaul the state's complex school funding formula.

Tennessee currently has one of the lowest cigarette taxes in the nation at 20 cents.

The national median is 80 cents per pack.

(Copyright 2007 by the associated press. All rights reserved.)

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