NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) - Starting Thursday, Massachusetts' smokers and drivers will be spending more money.
‘I've been smoking for thirty years. And I spend $10/day. I limit myself to one pack of cigarettes a day," said Ed Renkowic of Florence.
The state's newest transportation bill will raise taxes on gas, services on computer software upgrades and cigarettes. Gas will go up three cents a gallon. And you'll be paying a dollar more if you buy a pack of cigarettes and $10 more if you buy a carton.
The owner of Northampton's Racing Mart told22News his customers are not happy. And he's noticed they are buying more cigarettes; trying to get ahead of the tax.
"I see a lot of people, customers who bought a carton of cigarettes. I see a lot of people [buying] four packs, five packs of cigarettes. 95% of them are upset, yes. They say they can put taxes on the beer. They can tax the candy," said the station's owner, Atif Tasneem.
Paul Desrosiers is taking it a step further. He says he's not spending the extra money and instead will quit. Both he and his wife smoke. They plan to quit this Sunday.
"I like smoking. I enjoy it. Otherwise I wouldn't do it. I quit for up to seven years in the past and have gone back. I know we can do it. You think it will stick this time? Oh, I know it will," said Desrosiers in Northampton on Tuesday.
State legislators estimate the new taxes will raise $800 million in the next five years. The added revenue will be used for transportation projects and to help sustain public transit.