We knew that taxes on cigarettes were going to go up. We just didn't know by how much. The answer to that question was in a conference committee of the legislature yesterday and they had to compromise between the House's plan to raise cigarette taxes by .68 cents. The Senate version of the same legislation would have cigarette taxes raised by $1.08 cents. In the end a conference committee arrived at an even lower figure of .50 cents.

Wait? The lowest choice was .68 cents per pack and the conference committee found a way to make the cigarette tax increase even lower? That is some bodacious compromising if you ask me. Obviously I wasn't asked but James Armes a Representative from Leesville was asked and he explained his reasoning for wanting a lower tax on smokes.

All of us that live on the borders of Louisiana, the western, northern, eastern borders, people come over here to buy their cigarettes. While they're over here, they buy gas, they buy food. They stop and eat at our restaurants

Mr. Armes comments were reported by the Louisiana Radio Network. I can see his point. They don't live here. We don't have to pay their medical expenses, heck yeah! Y'all come smoke 'em while we got 'em.

Okay,  you've probably figured out I don't think smoking is a good idea but it's legal and if you're of the proper age what you do with your life and your money is absolutely fine with me. I do have concerns about your health and part of this tax increase will go to help fund health care in our state.  So maybe we both win just a little on this issue.

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