Last year, the state legislature passed a number of bills that would allow counties to implement certain taxes. One of the taxes in particular that is being looked at by Westmoreland, King George, Northumberland, Lancaster and Richmond counties, along with the town of Montross, is a tax on cigarettes. At last week’s Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors meeting, County Administrator Norm Risavi was able to give an update to the board on what was being looked into with regards to a regional cigarette tax of two cents per cigarette, or 40 cents a pack. Risavi laid out the reasoning in short order.
“We believe it would be beneficial to do it as a regional approach,” Risavi explained, “because it would cut the cost of enforcement and administration, which would be very expensive for just one jurisdiction.”
In other areas of the Commonwealth, cigarette taxes have been in use for many years, such as over in Fairfax County, and the city of Fredericksburg. If things pan out with regards to potential revenue and implementation, then Risavi will bring the matter back before the board for consideration, with the aim of trying to get it working before July next year. There are likely to be several other things in the near future that Risavi and other county administrators will look towards taxing, based off of the results of areas around them.