Illinois' cigarette tax revenue more than doubled in July compared to the same period last year, state officials said.
July revenue reached $30 million, up from $12 million in July 2012, according to data released Monday by the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability.
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The increase is being attributed to last year's $1-per-pack tax increase that was approved by the legislature, the State Journal-Register reported.
State revenue manager Jim Muschinske said most of the money from that tax hike hasn't shown up until now because many distributors stocked up on cigarette stamps -- which must be affixed to packages before retailers can sell them -- when the tax rate was lower. The stamp inventory is just now being replaced.
"We are about (now) where we thought we would be," Muschinske said.
State tax collections fell short of expectations after the tax rose from 98 cents to $1.98 last June. The state expected to bring in about $350 million in tobacco taxes during the last fiscal year, but instead collected $250 million.
Illinois in 2012 collected a total of $813 million from all tobacco taxes. This year, that's expected to fall to $807 million.
Muschinske says that's because overall spending on tobacco products is falling.
"Now, we should be back on the old decline trend from this point forward," he said.