Jacobs leads the way as state counties join Nassau in pursuing $2 cigarette tax

Nassau County Presiding Officer Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury) this week will submit a bill to New York State senate and assembly representatives in an effort to obtain state authorization for several regional counties to impose a local cigarette tax.

“This bill is an effort by a working group composed of the counties of Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk, Westchester, Dutchess and Rennselaer, along with the City of New York,” Jacobs.

Legislator Jacobs held two regional forums on the issue of instituting a cigarette tax as a way to generate revenue for counties as they struggle to meet more and more unfunded state mandates.

According to Jacobs and the Office of Legislative Budget Review, a county cigarette tax of $2 could bring up in $26 to $30 million in tax revenue into the county’s coffers.

 “As legislators, we need to be creative in searching for new revenue streams that will help taxpayers, not hurt them. We have spent the past five years looking under every rock for savings, but it’s time for instituting long-term changes into the future,” said Jacobs.

If approved by Albany lawmakers and the county legislature, a cigarette tax couldn’t go into effect until 2008.