Skip to main content

Dayton's cigarette tax hike would make Minn. 8th highest rate nationwide


Gov. Mark Dayton wants to increase cigarette tax nearly $1 as part of his two-year budget proposal announced Tuesday.

The tax would add 94 cents on top of the current tax of just under $1.60, taking Wisconsin's spot for the 8th highest cigarette tax in the country at $2.53, according the the Federation of Tax Administrators January report. The nation's highest tax is in New York at $4.35 per pack.

Just last week, the American Lung Association gave Minnesota a "C" grade for cigarette excise tax. The organization would like to see taxes over $2.98, so more smokers can no longer afford to buy cigarettes.

According to the "State of Tobacco Control" report, research shows that for each 10 percent price increase, consumption drops by about 7 percent for youth and 4 percent for adults.

The American Lung Association in Minnesota says a lower smoking rate could also save the state money over the long term. Smoking costs Minnesota nearly $3 billion in health care costs each year.

A higher tax rate may not bring in the $370 million in projected revenue due to smuggling, KSTP reports.

In 2011, Minnesota brought in $296 million in cigarette tax revenue. According to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a conservative, free-market think tank, one out of five cigarettes smoked in the state that year was smuggled in from states with lower tax rates, translating into about $58 million in lost tax revenue.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-11-25 at 7.53.37 AM

Another 5,000 lbs. of goldfish removed from Carver County lakes

It all likely stemmed from people dumping their pets into local waters a few years ago.

Rosaleia Shelton

Appeal to find 19-year-old missing from Bloomington

The teen left her home on Monday afternoon.

hospital, emergency room

Deaths of twin fetuses after woman was shot ruled a double homicide

The woman was shot in the abdomen in mid-September.

Payton Willis / Gopher Basketball

Gophers improve to 5-0 with win over Jacksonville

The Gophers are establishing momentum early in the season.

Anthony Edwards

Ant's massive slam leads Timberwolves to fifth straight win

The dunk didn't count, but provided the highlight of the night.

Cam Talbot / Minnesota Wild

WIld arrive late, Cam Talbot stays on point to beat Devils

Despite a 30-minute delay, the Wild picked up a 3-2 victory.

Screen Shot 2021-11-24 at 4.10.54 PM

Appeal to find 35-year-old missing from Oak Grove home

Police say he's not believed to be in danger.

vote, election

7 MN Republicans urge states to audit 2020 election results

There has been no evidence of significant fraud in any single U.S. state.

child vaccine pexels

How many MN kids age 5-11 have received a COVID vaccine dose?

The governor says the state has one of the highest child vaccination rates in the U.S.

police lights

Seven juveniles arrested in connection with stolen vehicles in Woodbury

Woodbury authorities have issued a warning following a spate of auto thefts.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

1 dead after driver crashes into stalled vehicle on shoulder

The vehicle stopped on the side of the road was unoccupied at the time.


Xcel Energy significantly reduces proposed rate hike

The deal still needs approval by the state Public Utilities Commission. If approved, the average Xcel residential customer would see a 2.7 percent rate increase -- or an additional $2.30 a month.