Drinkers-Smokers To Help Fix Ohio Budget Woes

POSTED BY: George Hiotis
Friday, January 10, 2003 - 06:30 AM
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The state may be asking smokers and drinkers to pay more as part of its efforts to plug a hole in the budget. State budget director Tom Johnson says Governor Taft is considering asking for higher taxes on beer, wine and cigarettes. Last year, the state increased the cigarette tax 31 cents per pack to help balance a one-point-nine billion-dollar deficit. The state faced a 65-million dollar deficit at the end of December, and its expected to grow, although officials aren’t saying by how much. Johnson also says state agency directors are being warned that more spending cuts may be needed early this year. Taft earlier said he hoped that small increases in spending cuts would be enough to close the deficit in the current budget, which ends June 30th.

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