By Bob Beck
Cheyenne, WY – Because of the state's budget surplus, lawmakers have turned aside a proposed increase the state tobacco tax. The bill would have raised the current tax by 40 cents. That hove have netted eight million dollars in 2007 and over 16 million in 2008. Supporters argued that a tax increase would make the price of tobacco high enough to discourage young people from purchasing it. But opponents, like Jackson Representative Keith Gingery, weren't not so sure. Green River Representative John Hastert said if the tax hike could save one life it would be worth it. But others were concerned that the increase would unfairly tax low income people.