CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) - A relatively small difference if you filled up your tank on Wednesday and a more significant difference if you bought a pack of cigarettes.
The excise tax on tobacco products here in Massachusetts is now $3.51, the second highest tobacco tax rate in the country. The tax on gasoline went up as well to 24 cents per gallon.
Jacob Blonberg who works at Country Trading Post in Chicopee told 22News, "It used to be anywhere from $6 to $8 a pack. Now it's jumped up to anywhere from $7 to $10."
Up one dollar per pack and up 3 cents per gallon of gasoline. Wednesday was the first day of tax hikes on tobacco products, gasoline and certain computer services.
Marge Bellefleur of West Springfield said, "Everything seems to be going up, even the groceries, so it's like everywhere you go, you have to pay more money. It's hard to travel if you want to drive. If you have ways to go to work, it's going to cost you more too."
The tax increase is part of the new $500 million Transportation Bill. The revenue from increased tobacco tax and the gasoline tax will go to improve our highways and bridges.
The tax hike may now force some people who live close to the New Hampshire border to cross the state lines to buy cigarettes.
Robert Barber of Greenfield told 22News, "I quit smoking myself a while ago, and I live in Greenfield, so pretty close to the New Hampshire border. I would be going up to New Hampshire if I was still smoking."
However, at Hampden County convenience stores like Country Trading Post in Chicopee, customers said they have no choice but to accept the increase.
Blonberg said, "People still come in and buy cigarettes. I know one of the customers who buys 4 packs every time she comes. She came in and still bought four."
In response to some unhappy drivers, Governor Patrick said it's about time we invest in our infrastructure and upgrade our roadways.