The Texas Senate has voted to raise taxes on smokeless tobacco, with some of the money going to help pay for a program to encourage doctors to practice in rural areas.
Instead of basing the tax on price, smokeless tobacco would be taxed by weight. The change is expected to raise about $105 million. Some of that money would be used for a rural doctors loan repayment program.
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The change is also tied to a tax cut for some small businesses. A Senate plan makes the increase in the smokeless tobacco taxes a tradeoff for reducing a tax levied on businesses that make less than $1 million a year.
The bill approved Tuesday must go back to the House for final approval.
The smokeless tax bill is HB2154.