Salem Proposes Tax Increase on Cigarettes - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Salem Proposes Tax Increase on Cigarettes

Posted: Updated:
SALEM, VA -

Dodging tax increases for quite some time now, Salem is currently one of the cheapest places to buy cigarettes in Virginia.

Smokers in Salem are taxed well below the national average. City Manager Kevin Boggess says they rank one of the lowest in the nation.

Salem city council voted to approve a .30 cent tax increase per pack during the first reading of the proposal, and will vote for a final time Monday night.

Recently city council voted to increase meals and lodging tax, Boggess says cigarettes are next in line.

"The cigarette tax was just one more piece of that. It wasn't picked on for any particular reason except that we have looked at the other taxes and we have looked at trying to spread the burden across all of the taxes in the city," Boggess said.

Salem tobacco retailers say the tax would be devastating to their business.

Kamlesh Jhaveri owns the Eagle Discount Tobacco store in Salem. He has openly spoke out against the tax increase during council public hearings.

"It is definitely going to hurt the business," Jhaveri said. " If the people stop coming I can't pay out of pocket(for my business) so we will have to close down the business and find some other opportunities."

Jhaveri says Salem Cigarette retailers will lose their edge on Roanoke County businesses. He says many of his customers travel from the city to Salem in order to save money on cigarettes.

"Once they see that our cigarette prices are high they will quit coming into our store."

Concerns that he along with other owners are voicing to the city; concerns that Boggess said are well noted.

"That's something that we take very seriously," Boggess said. "But we believe that forty-five cents is reasonable compared to other jurisdictions both in the Roanoke Valley and across the state.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Prostitution sting nets 31 arrests

    Prostitution sting nets 31 arrests

    Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
    31 people are in trouble with the law after a three day prostitution sting in Richmond. Police told NBC12 they targeted specific areas where residents and business owners complained about the illegal activity.
  • Floydfest wraps up 'Revolutionary' festival

    Floydfest wraps up 'Revolutionary' festival

    Monday, July 28 2014 5:42 PM EDT2014-07-28 21:42:30 GMT
    This weekend wrapped up Floydfest 2014, an event thirteen years in the making that WSLS proudly sponsors.
    This weekend wrapped up Floydfest 2014, an event thirteen years in the making that WSLS proudly sponsors.
  • Bedford Sheriff Department searches home on Nemmo Road

    Bedford Sheriff Department searches home on Nemmo Road

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 4:19 PM EDT2014-07-29 20:19:56 GMT
    There was a flurry of police activity Monday in Bedford County.
    There was a flurry of police activity Monday in Bedford County.
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.