Northampton County sent a cigarette tax proposal to a public hearing following action by the Board of Supervisors during Tuesday night’s business session.
The Virginia General Assembly passed a law in 2020 that allows localities to implement a tax on cigarettes.
County Administrator Charlie Kolakowski presented the plan to council and said he recommends the county adopt a tax of $0.40 per pack, which is the maximum allowed.
“When we ask the state for money, they will want to know if we are using these tax opportunities that they have created for us,” Kolakowski said.
It is estimated that the tax will create an additional $133,000 per year for the county in tax revenue and will not require the county to hire additional staff. The tax would apply to all cigarette sales except those sold in Eastville, which has already implemented its own tax.
Accomack County is considering applying the same tax rate.
President Betsy Mapp has suggested Northampton County could waive the tax and give businesses a boost by offering lower prices than Accomack and far lower prices than Maryland, which currently charges $1.75 per pack. cigarette tax.
The rest of the board disagreed, and the motion to send the tax to open hearing was moved by John Coker and seconded by Oliver Bennett, passing a 4 to 1 vote.