SC Senate to take up cigarette tax increase veto

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's cigarette tax would lose its lowest-in-the-nation status if the state Senate overrides Gov. Mark Sanford's veto.

The Senate is to debate the veto Thursday.

Sanford rejected raising the 7 cents-a-pack tax that's been on the books since 1977 to 57 cents because the Legislature didn't offset the increase with lower taxes elsewhere. The House on Wednesday easily the overrode the veto on a 90-29 vote. It's the Senate's turn to try to come up with the two-thirds vote needed to force the increase.

The House is considering an override of the governor's veto of plans to raise civil court filing fees. Chief Justice Jean Toal says Sanford's veto would sink the state's court system and force layoffs of law clerks and court reporters.

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