ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Anchorage's chief fiscal officer says the city's latest revenue projections for last year might indicate that more people are choosing to quit smoking.
Chief fiscal officer Lucinda Mahoney said Anchorage collected $21.3 million in tobacco taxes last year -- that's about $1.6 million less than Mayor Dan Sullivan's financial team was expecting for 2011. Mahoney made the announcement during a presentation in front of the Anchorage Assembly on Friday, where she outlined the performance of several city revenue streams throughout 2011.
"I kind of think of it as a good thing," Mahoney explained. "If we incentivized some folks to stop smoking as a result, this is overall good."
Mahoney says fewer cigarettes were sold in Anchorage than last year. The lower-than-expected revenue report follows a 75-cent-per-pack tobacco tax increase that went into effect in the beginning of 2011.