Senate set to consider cigarette tax veto

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The state Senate Wednesday is expected to start working toward overriding Governor Haley Barbour's latest veto of a cigarette and grocery tax bill.

Mississippi has the highest state grocery tax in the nation and one of the lowest cigarette excise taxes.

The bill would cut the 7% grocery tax in half and would increase the cigarette tax from 18 cents a pack to 80 cents this July 1 and to $1 a pack a year later.

Barbour vetoed the bill March 15, calling it a risky tax swap. Overriding the veto takes a two-thirds majority in the Senate and the House -- and it's NOT clear whether either chamber can reach that margin.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)