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Spending Plan Taxes Cigarettes, Digital Downloads

HAZLETON — If you are a smoker, you are going to pay more with the new state budget. The cigarette tax has been raise by $1 per pack. Cigars are not inclu...
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HAZLETON -- If you are a smoker, you are going to pay more with the new state budget.

The cigarette tax has been raise by $1 per pack. Cigars are not included.

But it's not only smokers who will pay. Anyone who buys apps on their phone or streams video on services like Netflix will also pay a new tax.

If you like the convenience of downloading music online on your phone or computer, or downloading books on websites like amazon, it will cost you more.

The price will soon include a six percent sales tax from the state.

Lawmakers just passed a $1.3 billion spending plan to fund the state's nearly $32 billion budget. There is no increase to the income tax, but there is a new tax that may be hitting many of us directly: a tax on digital downloading.

Pennsylvania will now join more than 20 other states that charge a sales tax on downloading of electronic books, music, and apps.

The state plans to also add its new six percent sales tax on the monthly fees for streaming services, like Netflix.

"That's not fair. We already pay a lot of taxes. We pay city taxes, state taxes, they take 33 percent of my paycheck every week!" complained Juan Polano of Hazleton.

If you have any digital downloading you want to get done, and want to avoid the sales tax, you have a few weeks while it's still tax free. The new tax goes into effect August 1.

The state is expected to generate about $47 million with it.