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Associated Press, Published June 30 2013

Minn. cigarette tax increase starts today

ST. PAUL – Cigarettes will now be much more costly in Minnesota.

New tobacco taxes kick in today. That includes a $1.60 increase in the per-pack tax on cigarettes.

The extra charge brings the total tax to $2.83 per pack. It’s part of a state budget fix, but has also hailed by public health experts as a way to discourage smoking. Minnesota will have the nation’s sixth-highest tax on cigarettes. New York is tops at $4.35.

As part of the tax conversion, retailers must take inventory on packs already in stores. By mid-July they must report their counts to the state and pay a one-time floor stock tax by early September.

Floor tax proceeds have been earmarked to pay debt on the new Minnesota Vikings stadium.