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Funding Health and Long-Term Care: A Survey on Increasing Virginia's Cigarette Tax

With an anticipated $2 billion shortfall, balancing the state budget will require significant spending cuts from health and long-term care (LTC) services. Concerned about Virginian's current and future need for such services, AARP is examining ways to increase state revenue. Under one proposal, Virginia could increase its tax on cigarettes and dedicate this revenue to the health and LTC services budget.

This survey shows that most Virginians age 18 and older consider it important to maintain current levels of state funding for health and LTC services; 61 percent support increasing the state's cigarette tax from 2.5 cents per pack to 62.5 cents per pack while 66 percent support at least a 30-cent-per-pack tax increase. Generating revenue to maintain delivery of health and LTC services is an issue that could influence voting behavior.

Between September 9 and October 4, 2002, Southeastern Institute of Research, Inc. conducted a telephone survey of 803 Virginia adults age 18 and older. Rachelle Cummins of AARP Knowledge Management analyzed the data and wrote the report. For more information, please, contact Joanne Binette of AARP Knowledge Management at 202/434-6303. (20 pages)

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