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New Cook County, Illinois, Cigarette Tax


As part of a broad effort to raise revenue and promote health and safety, the Cook County, Illinois, Board of Commissioners voted last week to levy a $1 tax on the sale of cigarettes. The measure was approved 16 to 1, and is scheduled to take effect on March 1, 2013.

Taxes on a pack of cigarettes will now total $6.67 in Cook County, making the cost of a pack of cigarettes in the Chicago area more than $10. Only New York City has a higher taxes on cigarettes, at $6.86 per pack. The tax could add $26 million to the county coffer each year.

What about smokers upset by the cigarette tax hike? Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle has a piece of advice: "They should quit."

The 2013 budget also cuts sales tax by a quarter-cent, reducing the county portion of the sales tax to 0.75 percent after January 1, 2013. In addition, it imposes a 1.25 percent use tax on out-of-county purchases of more than $3,500, and a gambling tax. Slot machines will be taxed $1,000-per-year, and video gambling terminals will be taxed $200-per-year.

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Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.