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Cigarette tax hike could be even steeper to close budget gap

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CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson wants to raise the cigarette tax even more than Gov. Brian Sandoval proposed in an effort to plug a budget hole.

The Republican lawmaker said Tuesday that he wants to amend SB483 to raise the cigarette tax from 80 cents per pack to $1.80 per pack. Sandoval proposed a 40-cent hike.

The move comes a few days after members of the Economic Forum projected Nevada will be $144 million short of funding Sandoval's $7.4 billion budget, even if his tax plan passes. The gap comes because analysts are factoring in tax credits that Nevada could be on the hook to pay out.

If senators approve Roberson's $1-per-pack cigarette tax hike and other governor-backed tax bills, the budget gap is expected to shrink to $33 million.

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