The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors will vote to establish a cigarette tax that, if approved, would take effect in November.
County staff estimated an annual net revenue of $2.2 million from the proposed 40-cents-per-pack tax. The proposed cigarette tax would apply countywide, including to any incorporated towns which have not elected to adopt a cigarette tax of their own.
The Town of Hamilton is the only town that does not levy its own cigarette tax.
While the adoption of a cigarette tax would generate additional county revenues, supporters said the goal of a tax rate is to change consumer behavior leading to healthier outcomes for individuals.
On July 1, Virginia Code 58.1-3830 gave localities the authority to levy a cigarette tax of up two cents per cigarette ($0.02) or 40 cents ($0.40) per pack of 20.
Last November, the board directed staff to pursue implementation of a cigarette tax rate of 40-cents per pack and petition the Northern Virginia Cigarette Tax Board for admission after a recommendation by the board’s finance committee meeting.
Should the board pass the new proposed ordinance and the county is accepted by the NVCTB, the tax board will begin administration, collection, and enforcement of the cigarette tax in Loudoun, according to a county staff report.
In exchange for their services, NVCTB will withhold a portion of Loudoun’s cigarette tax revenues to cover the cost of administering the tax. Administrative fees will be proportionate to the number of packs sold in the county compared to the other member jurisdictions.
Chairwoman Phyllis Randall (D-At Large) made the motion to send the item for action to the Sept. 8 business meeting with the board voting 7-0-2 in support of the action. Supervisors Tony Buffington (R-Blue Ridge) and Juli Briskman (D-Algonkian) were absent for the vote.
Correction: An earlier version of this story and in the printed article “Loudoun supervisors to consider cigarette tax” on July 16 incorrectly stated that the tax would generate $2.2 billion. The proposed tax is estimated to generate $2.2 million.