Indiana Republican leader says he’ll settle for lower cigarette tax increase

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The leader of the Indiana House says he is willing to back down at least partially on a proposed $1 cigarette tax increase.

Tobacco and convenience store trade groups have opposed the increase the House endorsed last month, along with many Republicans in the state Senate. They maintain the increase would hurt business by encouraging smokers to cross state lines to buy cheaper cigarettes.

Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma said Thursday that he’s willing to curtail the increase to about 60 cents. He says that would bring cigarette taxes in line with neighboring Ohio.

The measure is just one of several tax increases House Republicans have proposed this year to help cover the costs of a long-term infrastructure funding plan.