South Boston delays action on proposed cigarette tax

(South Boston) — The South Boston Town Council has delayed any action on a cigarette tax for three months as it considers other options for raising the salaries of the town’s lowest paid employees.

The action followed complaints by tobacco-related businesses and industry representatives.

Critics charge that the proposed cigarette tax, reduced to 10 cents from the initial 25 cent-per-pack levy, is unfair and will hurt the local economy. They say a similar tax in Martinsville has resulted in the closing of three businesses, with others choosing to locate outside the city limits to void the additional levy.

The tax was suggested by the town manager in an effort to fund pay hikes for employees making less than $40,000 a year.