Orrville looks into increasing tax on tobacco products

Published 10:26 pm Monday, May 6, 2013

ORRVILLE — Orrville residents may soon have to pay more for a smoke as the town is looking into increasing their tobacco tax.

Currently, the town receives one cent for every pack of cigarettes sold. However, this excludes all other forms of tobacco including chewing tobacco, cigars and snuff. According to the American Lung Association, the average cost of a pack of cigarettes is $5.51.

During their regular council meeting, Orrville Mayor Louvenia Lumpkin raised the possibility of asking the state to increase the town’s current tobacco tax rate, which has remained the same since 1959.

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“To be honest, we really don’t get that much right now from the tobacco tax and that’s something we’re looking to change,” Lumpkin said. “We’re looking to get around 7 percent [per pack] if not more.”

Currently, Selma receives 12 cents per pack of cigarettes and 15 percent of the wholesale cost of other tobacco products. Valley Grande receives 6 cents on each package of tobacco product sold.

With such a low tax rate, Lumpkin said Orrville is missing out on a large portion of money that could benefit the town.

“If you look at places like Uniontown, they’re getting thousands of dollars from their tobacco tax,” Lumpkin said. “We’re looking to see how we can get our rate up to that, but first we need to consult with the state to see what we can charge to be fair.”

Tobacco products are sold at the Dollar General and M&M Grocery in Orrville.

“We’re just hoping we get the chance to raise the tax and get Orrville up to the same standard of other small towns,” Lumpkin said.