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Cigarette Tax Hike, Other West Virginia Laws Taking Effect

Cigarette, tobacco
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  Cigarettes are getting more expensive in West Virginia.

To balance the state budget, West Virginia will raise its cigarette tax by 65 cents to $1.20 a pack starting Friday. E-cigarette and other tobacco product taxes will also increase. The hike is expected to raise $98 million annually.

The move helps fill a budget hole left by sputtering coal and low natural gas prices.

July 1 starts the budget year, and several other laws also are taking effect.

Coal and natural gas producers will get a tax break of $110 million combined. They had been paying surcharges to cover a workers' compensation debt for years.

A right-to-work law is kicking in. New and updated collective bargaining agreements starting Friday can't require workers to pay union dues as a condition of employment.

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